Originally Published: October 22, 2011 10 p.m.
Welcome home, Marine Corps Cpl. Trent Pendergast!
Throughout the year we honor our veterans - including the up-coming Veterans Day on Nov. 11 - and we remember on Memorial Day those who paid the ultimate sacrifice of giving their lives in service of our country. However, news of a warrior returning home from battle, on a more ordinary day, should not go unnoticed and demands a celebration.
Twenty-two-year-old Pendergast, whose family lives in Prescott, came home earlier this month after serving in the 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines, Weapons Company, 81 Platoon for 1,374 days in Iraq and Afghanistan. In Iraq, he served as a turret gunner patrolling the border. In the Helmand province of Afghanistan, he worked in logistics, driving trucks with supplies ahead of the troops pushing into sectors.
The road ahead of him - despite an enduring recession and the challenge of adjusting to civilian life - is bright. A search online for "returning veterans" reveals myriad problems veterans can face, and also the support and services that are available to them.
However, his family knows the transition can be difficult for a returning veteran, and he is now in a community that offers that same level of support and services.
Thankfully, Pendergast is taking time and appears to have his head on straight: "After what I've seen there, every day here gets better and better," he told us for a story that the Courier published Saturday.
It does get better, Corporal. The world is yours - thank you for your service.