Livingston Marine ships out to Iraq
Polk County Enterprise, April 2007
LIVINGSTON — Lance Corporal Sean Ellis is headed for Iraq, joining about 80 members of the military that have Polk County roots.
Ellis is a member of India Company, 3rd Battalion of the 7th Marines that will begin their second deployment during Operation Enduring Freedom soon.
Ellis initially enrolled at Sam Houston State University but decided to join the military when a friend enlisted in the Navy.
When Sean met with recruiters he said the Marine Corps showed more interest in helping him reach military weight limitations.
Marine recruiters helped Sean shed 80 pounds — from his football weight of 287 pounds to 211 — before he left for basic training at Parris Island, S.C.
He completed basic on June 16, 2006 and was then assigned to recruiting duties and additional training as a machine gunner.
About half of Ellis’ unit will be on their second tour in Iraq. This deployment is set for eight months, Ellis said.
The young Marine said he will decide how long his military career will be after the Iraq deployment. After he completes his enlistment, he is interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement, he said.
Ellis is the son of Dan and Bea Ellis of Livingston who organized a group that ships care packages to 84 members of the military with Polk County ties that are currently in Iraq.
The group will meet at 6 p.m. Thursday at Livingston Physical Therapy on Mill Street to assemble the packages.
The group spends about $600 a month for shipping costs, Dan Ellis said.
Donations of supplies or cash to meet mailing costs are welcome, he added. Popular requests from the soldier and wMarines include sports drinks, sunscreen, grooming supplies and easy to carry snacks like beef jerky, Dan Ellis said.
For a list of supplies, contact Livingston Physical Therapy or the Enterprise.
Friends can send words of encouragement to Sean via e-mail throughout his deployment at email@example.com.