Living Memorial For Lancon Fernando

Submitter’s Name: Lancon Olexus
The Service Member’s Name: Lancon Fernando
Branch of Service: Marine Corps
Rank: E5 Corporal
Military Job: Infantry
Hometown for Service Member: SCorsicana, Texas
Hometown for Submitter: n/a 

Posted by Navarro College Student Olexus Lancon

This is the story of Corporal Fernando Lancon and his Weapons Company – I am so honored to have a brother who has served in the United States Marine Corps.  Corporal (CPL) Fernando Devante Lancon is 22 years old and was born and raised in Corsicana, Texas.  He joined the Marines June 24, 2012 and went to boot camp at MCRD (Marines Corps Recruit Depot) in San Diego, California.  He graduated boot camp September 20, 2012.  I remember that day – I was a proud Marine sister.

CPL Lancon later went to the School of Infantry at Camp Pendleton.  He successfully graduated in December.  I was thankful that he could come home for Christmas.  He then was assigned to 3rd Battalion 7th Marines Lima Company in Twenty-Nine Palms, California.  There he learned the traits of being an Infantryman.  He trained up for his upcoming deployment to Afghanistan.

When my family found out that he was going to be deployed to Afghanistan, we were scared for him but at the same time, we knew he had to serve his country.  While training for deployment he met many good people.  As his deployment date came closer, he was anxious, because going on a combat deployment was what infantrymen hope to do.  He was also scared of the unknown that deployment brought.  As he flew into Afghanistan, it became clear to him “that this was real.”  He realized that he was going to be away from his family and friends.

As deployment went by, he learned a lot about himself and adopted a new family in the Marine Corps.  In the middle of deployment, he lost a fellow Marine to an IED blast.  As his deployment ended, he was just ready to get home and get away from everything he went through.  When he came back from Afghanistan, he got to come back to Texas and see all his family.  During his deployment, he got a better understanding of his job, became a team leader and oversaw three other Marines.  Shortly after coming back from deployment, he started training for his second deployment.  Training was difficult, especially being a new team leader and responsible for people’s lives.  Half way through the train-up, he was placed into a different platoon making it difficult to try to bond with people he had never worked with before.

During the training with his new group, he met his wife-to-be in San Francisco.  She put a spark in his life.  As the days counted down for his next deployment, it was more difficult, as he had a wife at home.  It was very difficult on his wife too and when he left, he assured her it was going to be a safe, easy deployment.  The mission was to go to Jordan to train the Jordanian soldiers.  When he deployed, it was a very easy deployment at first and he had full communication with his wife.

Two weeks into deployment he found out his wife was pregnant with their first child.  This news made it extra difficult to be separated but it was exciting and easier because of the full communication.  Shortly after he found out he was expecting a child, he learned that his original platoon was being sent on a mission to Iraq.  The commanders asked for volunteers to go and support them.  He had a very tough decision to make.  Knowing he had a child on the way and knowing that the mission was dangerous and the possibilities of casualties were high.  He finally decided to volunteer for the mission.  The days leading to the mission were the most difficult days he had ever gone through.  He believed he was doing the right thing.  Initially they needed thirty volunteers and then it went down to ten and then it finally went all the way to just four volunteers going on the mission.  He was one of the four to go on the mission.

When he left for Iraq, and for months, he lost the constant communication with his wife and family.  His wife and family had no idea if he was safe.  When he went on the mission, it was not a great experience for him.  He went without running water and real food for months.  He had to ration out the amount of MRE’s (Meal Ready to Eat) because his unit was running out of food and water.  He had many narrow escapes and was shot at by small arms fire and 107mm rockets.  He also helped with Iraqi casualties.  

Some were injured by gunshot wounds, IED blasts, burned or were killed in action (KIA).  He will never forget the things he saw.  It helped, though, to find out half way through deployment, through the little communication that he had, that he was having a little girl.

During the deployment, he found time to complete the necessary assignments to become a NCO (Non-Commissioned Officer) in the Marine Corps.  He was successful and was promoted just two days before he came back to the states.  When he was coming back from deployment, he felt a sense of accomplishment.  He was excited to see his family and his new baby.  When he arrived, he was excited to be able to be there for his daughter’s birth. 

There were times when he felt like he was unappreciated because nobody really knew what he and his unit went through.  He felt like the world needed to know and that is why he agreed to this story.  He and his unit went through a lot.  He could not exactly explain everything but he said he served with brave men and their story deserves to be told.  He will not disclose the names of the four Marines that accompanied him without their permission but he will say the unit he went with – 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines, Weapons Company.  Corporal Fernando Lancon got an honorable discharge from the Marines and is now going to school to better his future for his family.