Kremmling soldier home for the holidays before Afghanistan deployment |

Kremmling soldier home for the holidays before Afghanistan deployment

Reid Armstrong
Sky-Hi Daily News
Grand County, CO Colorado

West Grand High School graduate Michael Ferrell is home in Kremmling with his mother and family for the holidays before deploying to Afghanistan with the Marine Corps in January.

Ferrell moved to Kremmling with his mother Sylvia Garduno in 2003 and graduated from high school there in 2008. He is married to Lisa Phillips, also of Kremmling, and they have son who will turn 2 on Christmas Day.

Since enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps in February, Ferrell has been on the move. He attended recruit training in San Diego, Calif., and then headed to Camp Pendelton in Virginia Beach for combat training. He completed his task force training and schooling in the desert of California at 29 Palms and earned his weapons training in Yuma, Ariz.

Now based at Camp Legeune, N.C., he is a private first class field radio operator with the First Battalion, Second Marines, Alpha Company.

Ferrell said he joined the armed services for the distinction, discipline and better lifestyle the Marine Corps promised.

“I liked the idea of camaraderie, of having brothers that are going to watch your back,” he said

He wants to stick with the Marine Corps until he retires, he said: “I enjoy it. It’s a good lifestyle. Everyone’s on same page.”

Ferrell’s first tour – part of Operation Enduring Freedom – is scheduled to last seven months. While deployed, he will be serving on the front lines in the northwestern part of Afghanistan, providing communications support to a “grunt company” of infantry, he said.

“I’m pretty nervous,” he added. “But, I am confident in what they’ve prepared and trained me with.”

Ferrell said it’s going to be particularly hard leaving his son. “I’m glad I’m doing it at a young age when it’s not as hard for him,” Ferrell said. “I’ll miss him a lot.”

Being in the communications sector, Ferrell hopes to have the advantage of better access to satellite phones, e-mail and video messaging to keep in touch with his wife and child at Camp Legeune and his mother in Kremmling.

Ferrell with be in the area until Dec. 27. He has to return to formation with his unit Dec. 30 for more training at 29 Palms and final preparations for deployment.

Although his family has been aware that Ferrell would likely deploy overseas at some point, the prospect seemed a long way off in the future, until now.

“This visit has been a reality check,” he said. “They are definitely upset. But, I’m in good hands and they are proud of me for what I’m doing.”

Ferrell said he is thankful this Christmas for the two weeks of block leave that allowed him to be home with his family and friends in Grand County.

To wish him well, e-mail Michael at

– Reid Armstrong can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19610 or

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