Spc. Josh Moerman: Home for Christmas
President Barack Obama announced Oct. 21 that the U.S. would follow through with its 2008 agreement to withdraw from Iraq. Thousands of servicemen and women, including some Liberty University students, have already left the country for bases in Kuwait.
Ridgetown, Ontario native and Liberty senior Spc. Josh Moerman recently withdrew to Kuwait in preparation to return home.
“They are pulling troops out every day now — Kuwait is overflowing with soldiers,” Moerman said. “I left about a week ago, but I am not sure when we are leaving Kuwait for the U.S. They did tell us, though, that we should be home in Virginia around Dec. 15.”
Moerman obtained U.S. citizenship at the age of eight and enlisted in the U.S. Army in August 2009. Enlisting both for the experience and to help pay for college, he chose and qualified to become a combat medic and has been deployed to Iraq since July 31.
“I picked a medic because it gave the most marketable civilian skill for the equivalent army training, EMT Basic,” he said. “I also earned a few college credits.”
In October, Moerman was able to return home for two weeks. He said at the time that it had been quiet in his part of the country, “which is good for a medic, (and) the support and encouragement from family and Americans is great.”
Since then, Moerman said the insurgents have avoided provoking the withdrawing American troops.
“Towards the end, it did not heat up as much as everyone thought,” Moerman said. “Both sides knew that as long no one messed with each other, then we would all do our thing. For the most part, the groups that were attacking us let us do our thing and leave.”
Once back in the U.S., Moerman will be able to return to campus life. As a military aviation major at Liberty with a minor in business, his goal is to become a commercial pilot following graduation May 2013.
“I am not sure how long I am going to stay in the Army, but there is chance that I am going to try to become a medevac (medical evacuation) pilot once I graduate from LU,” he said. “I intend to be a flight instructor here at LU as a stepping stone to commercial flight.”
In the meantime, however, Moerman and some 50,000 other American troops are waiting the last few weeks of an eight-year conflict with the hopes of returning home by Christmas.
Editor’s note: Moerman flew back to the U.S. on Dec. 6, the day this article was published.