Afghanistan - With a deep-rooted family history of service in the Navy, Hospitalman Zachary D. Greenberg chose to continue to follow that tradition.
The 21-year-old from Woodenville, Wash., made his decision to join a year ago.
My brother was in Afghanistan in 2010, and before he came home I had already been talking to the recruiter,” said Greenberg. “I joined because I wanted to serve like my brother, and I thought the military would be a good fit for me.”
Greenberg’s Navy roots extend deep into his family tree. His grandfather and an uncle were both sailors too.
“My Grandpa Bob was a telephonic radio communications 2nd class in the 1950s,” said Greenberg. “He served on a carrier for a deployment. My Uncle Morris, he was an electrician’s mate. He served for six to seven years.”
Greenberg, a third generation sailor, has yet to serve on a ship, which is a running joke with his grandfather.
“My grandpa was a sailor of the seas and I’m a sailor of the sand,” laughed Greenberg.
With such a deep family history in the Navy, it is no wonder why the “sailor of the sand” joined up. He said he remembers fondly the day his Grandpa Bob saw his in uniform.
“He almost teared up a bit when I first came home in my dress blues. I’ve never seen him act that way about anything before,” said Greenberg.
Greenberg made it through all the courses and schools he needed to become a hospital corpsman and to provide Marines and sailors with the care they need.
Finishing as one of the highest graduates in his class, he was offered orders to anywhere in the world and chose to serve with the Marines.
He received orders to 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division. He is now deployed with the unit in Helmand province, Afghanistan as part of Regimental Combat Team 6.
“ (My parents) weren’t too ecstatic about my orders to go to 1st Marine Division,” he said. “I’m a good corpsman, and I just felt Marines deserve good corpsmen.
“I’m not doing it for the glory or anything,” said Greenberg. “I just want to make sure I’m there for my guys when they need me because they’re my guys. I just want to do my job and know I did it well.”