Marine Outranks Dad in Afghanistan
August 24, 2011
Marine Corps News|by Cpl. Samantha H. Arrington
CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan -- Matthew R. Johnson spent his formative years following in his stepfather’s footsteps.
But today as both Johnson and his stepfather serve in Afghanistan, the roles have been somewhat reversed.
Johnson is currently deployed to Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, as a multiple channel radio operator with Marine Wing Communications Squadron 28.
The man Johnson considers his father figure Monty F. Beaune is also deployed to Afghanistan, as a forward observer with the U.S. Army’s 89th Cavalry Regiment, 10th Mountain Division.
But Johnson, a sergeant in the Marine Corps, outranks Beaune, a specialist in the Army, by one pay grade.
“I joined the Marine Corps when I was 17, almost six years ago now. [My stepfather] decided to join the Army a couple years ago because the economy was really bad,” said Johnson, a native of Grandville, Mich. “It’s funny that I outrank my dad. I joke with him about it as much as I can.”
Johnson is scheduled to return home to Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., at the end of August following a 7-month deployment. His stepfather is also slated to return to the U.S. in the near future.
“It is funny that my son outranks his dad,” said Erin DeMaagd, Johnson’s mother. “His dad is a little competitive so it will make for interesting family gatherings. I know Monty is very proud of Matt, and Matt’s proud of his dad too.”