April 20, 2005
Quentin King's day at work is filled with jokes and laughter, but just seven months ago, King, a Marine Reservist, was called away from his job at the Charlottesville Fire Department to serve in Iraq.
"I told my chief that I was leaving, it was like a whirlwind, like a downward spiral, because everything was just racing," said King.
While in Iraq, 24-year-old King served as a combat engineer. His platoon's loss of several fellow marines left him wondering whether or not he would survive.
"Me and my fellow marines thought it was just going to be us that weren't able to come home and see our families again," he said.
But King did see his family again. He arrived home on March 31 and now, less than three weeks later he's back to work early, in hopes of bringing some normality back into his life. Since he's been home, King has reflected on the little things he longed for while overseas.
"Just to hear the toilet flush, to take a shower, oh my goodness just to drive," King explained.
His pals at the fire station say having him back isn't so bad either.
"He's a joy to be around, he's a great person, so we're just glad to have him back," said Charlottesville fireman Lance Blakey.
And he's glad to be back home, in the land of the free. Explained King, "I'll only go back if I'm ordered to, but I'll take America over anything any day."