Marine Corps Sgt. Jarrod Staab. (Courtesy Photo)
He was away from his friends, family and wife for a year — and although he’s safely back home, for this local Marine, the mission is not quite accomplished.
On Jan. 11, 2011, Sgt. Jarrod Staab, now 26, began a yearlong deployment in Afghanistan. He is now in his native Roswell, after several weeks of de-briefing at Camp LeJeune, N.C.
“It feels very good to come back to society,” Staab said. “Nothing beats it.”
The son of Richard Staab and Brendalyn Porter, both of Alamogordo, Jarrod graduated from Goddard High School in 2004. He married his high school sweetheart, Martha Urquides, Dec. 28, 2007. Earlier that year, he enlisted for military service.
He said he enlisted to ensure a good career that would help him care for his new bride. He became a Marine, specifically, to depart from custom — his father had been in the Army and the Air Force.
“I wanted to do something different,” Staab said. When he enlisted, he said he “had no clue” he would be deployed, until he was told so during boot camp. His first deployment was to Iraq, from October 2008 to May 2009. The young Marine participated in two combat campaigns — Iraqi Surge and Iraqi Sovereignty.
Not feeling as though he was quite done yet, Staab volunteered to be deployed to Afghanistan. However, actual deployment did not come as easy as simply raising his hand.
“Ten of us volunteered (to go to Afghanistan),” Staab said. “Only I got picked.” In Afghanistan, Staab participated in two campaigns: Consolidation III and Transition I.
Although he is home for now, Staab will soon have to return to Camp LeJeune. Eventually, he will be stationed in San Diego. There is still a possibility of future deployments, something that’s not lost on Staab, who is ready for the challenge. However, for his wife, Urquides-Staab, the possibility of being separated from her husband for an extended period of time once more is not as thrilling.
“The military trains the families on how to deal with separation. … You have to learn how to cope,” she said. Still, she said, “It’s hard being separated for so long.”
Urquides-Staab acknowledged that, for her husband, deployment presents a challenge that he does not quite feel he has met yet.
“He sets a bar (for himself) per deployment,” Urquides-Staab said. She said Jarrod Staab may not feel he has already accomplished his mission.
“I hope he doesn’t go,” Urquides-Staab said. “(But) if anything comes up, I’m ready.”