Cpl. Danny Baldwin earned commendations for his logistical work in Afghanistan. He returned home recently and hit the slopes. photo provided
Former Sisters Outlaw and Sisters Rodeo volunteer Cpl. Danny Baldwin recently returned home after completing a seven-month overseas deployment to an airbase in Afghanistan with the 2nd Marine Division.
Arriving home February 17 to visit his father John, and grandparents Frank and Jan, all of Sisters, Cpl. Baldwin wasted little time in hitting the slopes at Mt. Bachelor and Hoodoo, multiple times. During his overseas assignment, Cpl. Baldwin apparently noticed that despite being surrounded by Afghanistan desert, skiing seemed to be increasingly on his mind.
"The nearer I got to completing my tour, the more I found myself thinking of snow, of the Sisters, of being on my skis again," he said.
Cpl. Baldwin served in a logistics battalion, personally in charge of four Marines assigned the responsibility of outbound shipments for the entire Marine base, from hundreds of units, and for thousands of personnel.
The value of goods, weapons, and equipment Cpl. Baldwin coordinated for transport to overseas destinations in six months time amounted to over $100 million.
Some days were longer than others. In one letter home Cpl. Baldwin wrote, "... and every piece I handled today weighed over 200 pounds. Seriously."
Shipments were often base-related equipment such as small generators, tools, food service equipment, office supplies. But frequently shipments consisted of hundreds of items of field and combat-related gear and numerous weapons headed outside for repair. Sometimes the shipments were personal effects. And on certain occasions, Cpl. Baldwin had the solemn duty of shipping home the remains of fellow Marines.
His logistics duty periods were 10 hours, seven days a week. There was no such thing as a "day off," not one in almost seven months. But despite the physically demanding, time-critical nature of the work, Cpl. Baldwin compiled a commendable record, having over that course of time managed a completion factor of 100 percent with respect to all shipments, in-country and to overseas international destinations. For this effort, his unit commander took notice; Cpl. Baldwin was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.
One afternoon, an IED detonated within earshot under a vehicle in a sector adjacent to his, a sector in which no such explosion should have ever occurred.
The United States Marine Corps celebrated it's 238th birthday only days after Cpl. Baldwin celebrated his 21st. For the sake of morale, as Cpl. Baldwin put it, "Every Marine on base was given two bottles of uh, a very hard to-otherwise-come-by commodity - considering our location deep inside Afghanistan - to properly celebrate the Corps' big day. But don't ask me how we came by it. I only handled shipments outbound!"