Husband and Wife Life in Iraq


German Alba and Lyndi Alba-Lopez, both Marines in the military, are learning the hard way what it is like to serve in Iraq together and nogerman_alba_and_wifew be apart. When German (pronounced Her-maan) of Moline, decided to join the Marines, his wife Lyndsi Alba-Lopez of Davenport decided to join with him so that they may be together. Both are still in active duty with the Marines.

German, 21, was the first to join the Marines and his wife followed after both had graduated from high school in 2005. After the training, the two found themselves in two vastly different regions of the world. On Sept. 4, 2006 was the first time the young couple did not live together when now Cpl. Lyndsi, 22, was sent to Iraq as a diesel engine mechanic.


She arrived in Iraq a day later and a day after that her time alone changed when Cpl. German Alba – an aviation mechanic– arrived unannounced and surprised Lyndsi after arriving in Iraq. Both served in Iraq at the same time as members of the Marines. German Alba was able to leave Iraq a month later on Oct. 21, 2006.



Then they knew they would spend more time apart when the military found out on Nov. 21, 2006 that Lyndsi was pregnant. She was then sent to Beaufort, S.C. Their son German Alba Jr. was born on June 12, 2007.


“Anybody can tell what it’s like to be a parent but you will never fully understand all the feelings you get once you have a child,” German Alba said. “Your whole outlook on life changes, I love my son more than anything in the world.”


Life in Iraq


Lyndsi was the first to go to Iraq and said that she constantly worked very hard, and that it was very tiring.  Those work days were very hot and cold at night. “It was really dirty in Iraq and I feel very lucky to be in the States,” she said.


German Alba said life in Iraq wasn’t as bad as he thought it would be. He was stationed in an air force base in Al Asad which he said was pretty secure. Since it’s been a few years since the United States invaded Iraq, a few things like a PX store, Pizza Hut, Burger King, and Subway, provide for good facilities to go to and having fun during off time.



“Your life over there really depends on what your job is. If you’re infantry, of course you’ll be going on convoys and scouting the cities and towns looking for insurgents,” he said. “It gets pretty redundant though. Everyday you worry about work and get homesick.”


They also agreed that Iraq has a very different culture and that not everyone is out to get them. “I think Americans should realize is that not everybody from Iraq is a terrorist. They shouldn’t be so quick to judge everybody on their looks. I’ve met some of the nicest people in Iraq. They are fast to help you out and will do just about anything for you,” German Alba said.


Keeping in Touch With the Family
Most of their family lives in the Quad Cities so the couple keeps in touch with them through email and telephone. The one thing German and Lyndsi miss most is each other.


“The hardest part is being away from home, especially now with my son, I do keep in touch with my wife and family,” he said. “If I didn’t my wife would kill me.”


Unfortunately, for German, phone calls cost 50 cents a minute and he usually has to wait an hour just to use the phone.  The differences in time zones don’t help either, “When I’m off work, my wife is sleeping and vice versa,” he said.


Lyndsi has had to be more independent, as a result of them being apart.


“I do not like being away from him, but I always am happy reuniting with him. I would never be away from him though, if I had an option,” she said, “But I’m always here to support him in anything he does. Nobody likes being apart but I am willing to do anything for him.”


German’s mother, Jovita Alba did not know her son was Iraq. He had told her that he was in the Mediterranean Sea. She eventually found out that he was serving in Iraq.


“He called me a month ago and I asked what country he was near by. He said by Iraq and I said, ‘No, you’re in Iraq,’” Jovita Alba said.


Jovita is fearful of watching the news for fear of hearing bad news about her son.


“As a mother, I worry a lot. Accidents happen everywhere but you can’t live at peace. You fear someone knocking in the door,” she said.

Latinos Serving the U.S. With Honor
Both said that there are a lot of Latinos currently serving in the armed forces in Iraq.


 “I’ve met a lot of Latinos in the Marine Corps. When I went to boot camp, half of my platoon was of Hispanic origin,” German said. “They all get their chance to fight the wars over there. They speak a lot of Spanish, to each other anyway.”


When anti-immigrant groups argue that Hispanic immigrants come to take from this country, Lyndsi – who was born in Iowa City, Iowa – says that those statements are not true. “I see many Latinos in the Marines, and they are the hardest workers,” she said.


German, an immigrant from El Valle de Santiago in Guanajuato, Mexico said it kind of angers him that people think that way.


“I work 12 to 14 hours everyday, holidays and weekends included. I’m away from my family and my home. I’ve shed more sweat in one day than you did the whole summer. I’ve felt more exhaustion than any 20 year old should,” he said.


“I could be at home doing nothing with myself. Doing what 70 percent of what high school grads do; do drugs, get drunk and party.  But instead I’m on an aircraft carrier in the middle of the Persian Gulf fighting those who hate America, and I’m Mexican,” German said.  “The Latin community does more for this country than they can imagine.”

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