Courtney Jackson, 22
Photo: U.S. Marines
Hometown: New Orleans, Louisiana
Graduate of: Louisiana State University
Courtney Jackson is a corporal in the United States Marine Corps. She has a B.S. in psychology from Louisiana State University.
Her future goals include earning a masters degree in rehabilitation counseling and traveling as much as possible ("Road trips are way more fun than flying," she says), and "waking up every morning with a smile on my face because I love my job and love being a United States Marine."
First I would like to thank MTV for giving me the chance to have a voice during a time when many of my fellow troops are going unheard. Also, thank you to all the concerned folks back at home for your love and support, it is greatly appreciated and means a lot to us.
I have been a proud member of the United States Marine Corps for three years. I wish I had a fascinating story to tell that would explain why I sat out of college during my sophomore year to become a Marine. The truth is, it was self-discipline (or my lack of it) and focus that attracted me to the Corps. Since I wasn't ready to walk away from college life altogether, the Marine Corps Reserves was the next best thing. I received all the training and skills of a Marine without the full-time employment.
This past December I received my B.S. in psychology from Louisiana State University. Three months later and it still feels good to say I am an "LSU TIGER."
It was one month after graduation when I was told I would be activated. Instead of getting mentally prepared to start graduate school I knew I had to prepare myself for war. I believe everything that happens in life occurs for a reason. Right now I am in Southwest Asia, in the middle of the desert, as part of the 9th Air Expeditionary Task Force, defending my country in a war that has already affected the lives of many.
In my new home overseas, I am no longer a student, I am no longer a civilian, I am a Marine fighting alongside my fellow Marines, soldiers, sailors and airmen. Every day, with the help of my wonderful co-workers (they made me say that), we work hard to develop the orders for over 10,000 combat missions a week. Though from time to time this task might become frustrating to accomplish, we work really hard to keep each other smiling.
To all my family and friends at home, I want to thank you for all your prayers. I know you are all praying for me because in the midst of all the tragedy going on right now, every morning I wake up with breath in my body and no complaints. I know the generations that came before us sacrificed even more than we are sacrificing, and I would not be much of a Marine if I let them down. To everyone in the States, I hope all of you know just how much I love you. To my parents, please don't worry about me too much, I get a lot of protection from my fellow servicemen and women, and I love you with all my heart.
Finally, I want to tell all the troops, near and far, you are in my prayers. To my fellow Marines, Semper Fi!
Corporal Courtney Jackson
United States Marine Corps
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