AL ASAD, Iraq -- Some children have dreams of becoming successful like their parents. Many children take a path in life similar to that of their parents. As boys and girls grow older there eventually comes a time when they must make life changing decisions to set them on the path to success. Some choose college, some choose work and some just don’t choose at all.
For Cpl. Travis Toborg, plane captain with Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 224, the choice was simple. It seemed natural to join the Marine Corps after years of listening to stories from his father about his military career.
“I joined the Marine Corps because of my dad’s influence,” Travis said. “He was always positive about his experience. It was more rewarding to learn a trade in the Corps than pay a lot of money to go to college to learn the same thing.”
Timothy Toborg, Travis’ father, was a Marine for 8 years. While in the Corps he worked on A-6 Intruders.
After his stint with the Marines, Timothy got a job with Delta Airlines and has been with the company for more than 15 years.
“I was able to walk right into a good job with the knowledge and experience I gained in The Marine Corps,” Timothy said.
After his son joined the Marine Corps in 2002, Timothy took the first steps back into the military by enlisting into the reserves after a 14-year hiatus from the service.
“I saw how things were going in Iraq and I knew I wanted to be a part of it,” said Timothy, 42. “Now that I’m a little older, I have a better sense of the world and how important this war is. I also had a suspicion the reserves would be used a lot more than they had in the past so I jumped at the opportunity to don the Marine Corps uniform again.”
In January, Timothy’s squadron, the Gators of VMFA-142, was activated to deploy to Iraq for seven months. After hearing of his father’s upcoming deployment, Travis scrambled to join his father in Iraq. Given his squadron was not scheduled to deploy, Travis volunteered to deploy with a security detachment from Marine Corps Air Station, Beaufort, S.C.
“The security detail didn’t work out so I requested to change squadrons and joined the Bengals of VMFA (AW)-224,” Travis said. “It wasn’t until two weeks before we left that they told me I would be able to deploy with them for sure. I was excited because it almost seemed like I would miss the opportunity to deploy with my father.”
The Bengals arrived in Iraq in January with the Gators close behind, touching down in March.
“I love this,” Timothy said. “After being away for so long I realize what I missed about the Corps. The camaraderie with my fellow Marines is a big reason for me returning. It is a special bond we share with each other.”
When the Toborgs are home in Milner, Ga., they spend their time outdoors fishing, hunting and working on cars. In Iraq the two men often travel to the otherside of the base to visit with each other to talking about family and life back home.
“We did a lot together growing up, I think that is why we have a special bond,” said Travis, a 2002 graduate of Lamar Comprehensive High School in Lawrenceville, Ga. “Now we see each other once a week and do things most people might take for granted, like eating a meal with your dad or e-mailing my mother at home.”
The Toborgs take any time they can get together here as a blessing, both work long days and nights to assist their respective in the fight to make Iraq a free country. Both men are fighting to secure Iraq for future generations to live here happy, healthy and free.
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