Driving a truck and earth-moving equipment may not come to mind when thinking of military action, but it’s necessary work to supply troops for combat, clear roads and streets of rubble and build protective barriers for troops conducting house-to-house searches.
In the Iraq War, streets and highways were often a battlefield as well, mined with IEDs by Iraqi insurgents, and working as a driver in a convoy meant front line risks.
William Bonner, 33, served two tours of duty as a Marine doing just that in Combat Logistics Battalion 1 of the 1st Marines Logistics Group, charged with supplying forward operating bases in Al Anbar province.
The former Troy resident enlisted in 2004, following the footsteps of his father, a Marine who drove trucks while stationed in Beirut, Lebanon, and served as range coach at Camp Pendleton.
Bonner was deployed in Iraq for two tours of duty, serving 13 consecutive months from 2006 to early 2007. A diagnosis of PTSD kept him from a third tour, he said. He finished his Marine service in October 2008. After three months in country, he found he missed life in the military, he said, and signed up for the Texas National Guard. He presently serves in the 236th Engineer Company.
He and his wife Chelsie married two weeks before his first overseas posting and now have a 10-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter. Bonner is presently finishing a degree in Building Construction Technology at Texas State Technical College, with plans on becoming a building inspector after graduation in the spring.