Murrie Barnett and Dierdra Lee

Recorded June 19, 2013 Archived June 19, 2013 31:28 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: mbx008326


Murrie (26) talks to his mother Diedra (55) about joining the military and his time on deployment in Iraq.

Subject Log / Time Code

Murrie talks about his decision to join the military and discovering his other interests afterwards.
Murrie talks about how his experience in the military changed his perspective on life. Seeing people live in poverty but be happy made him appreciate things differently.
Murrie describes arriving in Kuwait the first night and then his first day in Iraq.
Murrie remembers having to go inspect a house for a bomb and as point mand having to be in the lead.
Murrie describes that night sky in Iraq.


  • Murrie Barnett
  • Dierdra Lee

Recording Locations

U.S.S. Midway

Venue / Recording Kit


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00:02 Deitra Lee age 55 June 19th. 2013, San Diego California, I'm the mom 26 today's date is June 19th 2013 in San Diego, California and under the sun.

00:25 One of the questions that I've always wanted to ask you is why did you choose to go into the military during wartime?

00:35 Something I want to do this reading those military books and

00:40 It seems like the right choice and it seemed exciting and I was only doing anything play skateboarding. So this kind of do some different when you did to research on the military books that you find anything on pop with that something of an influence on you, but that at that moment I must know. Yeah, that's military Terry and Florence you on playing jazz guitar know I got that right when I got out music music.

01:30 When you went into the military and I know that you had some issues with friendship. How was the experience with the band of brothers that you formed? And how is that friendship current today? You was saying that some of the friends that you were saying your troop was not friends and I was trying to explain to you that not everybody was your friend and bootcamp. But once you got past boot camp cuz he's competitive season 1

02:08 One Squad Bay. We all sleep, you know all from all walks of life. Now, you're all on top of each other and had to work together. So it's always going to be clashing and

02:17 So what is your experience with your Band of Brothers when you went over to what was your first tour?

02:29 How can I want to see him Border in Alhambra Province? So how was hits your experience with those children mental issues with anybody? I mean once you're in that situation, you can't put any difference you what I would have you put inside but nobody really.

02:44 Confrontational never be some little Arguments for nothing.

02:48 SiriusXM so when you was over there, what were some of the the titles military titles that you had told me be like eight or nine guys, I would always be the first one so I'll have the map and I like pass bypass fine throughout the city to select remember how the map looked and I can remember the building so I know I can I can walk without looking at the map. I know where I was.

03:15 And I don't know when I was maybe fearless or it's someone to do. How did you view your life after you had that experience? How did you view life not your life but life when you had that experience when you had to you know, what that situation. I don't know if I could say it away. Okay? Okay. How did you view your how did you view life after you had that experience of killing that person? What was the words then after I start thinking about is this?

03:55 You know taking hemolysis. It's hard to be described as feeling like you get over it.

04:02 As a change your life in a way that you view life.

04:11 Yeah, it's a little bit. This is more precious is this.

04:15 Target clean some of the happiest moments in your life

04:24 Military speaking raise to my personal list. With personal living with Mom.

04:31 How do you spell dances maybe official boot camp was too heavy to get that done a big compliment?

04:43 Mostly in this the small things I ski do skateboard competition while back that was a good one actually find out what I want to do with my life music wise. I was a big one.

04:57 I never thought about that question.

05:03 So what are some of the saddest moments in your life that is granddaddy died and grandma died.

05:13 When I go by Alan died.

05:18 Set alarm.

05:20 So happy to see me sad sad and sad moments. So how do you feel about your mom?

05:28 I forget so tell me something about our experience together while you was going through the transition of the military that really allowed to to see one time you called. I want to share that story. Well, what happened was I love Hassan dog ice cream in my son was going through some transitional changes in his behavior. And I brought three boxes of Hassan. Ice cream, and I said you could have two and I have one but he ate all three and because he ate all three I caught his command all present and then his commanding officer. I left his cell phone with me and he had the but that little thing is inside the cell phone. And so I had all his contacts are kept calling.

06:28 I got a live body and when I got the live body, it happened to be a lieutenant commander somebody high up. And so I share the story with him and I told him that he needs to bring me back my house and got ice cream. So now you could take what happened when he called you in front of everybody and everybody, but I scream I'm gonna get in trouble. He's if he's more so this

06:57 I love you Just the Way of the World Earth at somebody's mom will call Ice Cream. Then you kind of left feeling really do too much. She kind of says go away. You know, one of the first thing they said if he gives you any problem. He's ours just called. So you was not paying attention to me. So I went on the call Tim and they have other situation but you did come home with some ice cream. Didn't you? Yeah, you did you came knock on the door and you have my box of hearts and dolls and I told you put in refrigerator. And after that that was in there that one so yeah, that's when they experience that I thought it was one of my sight this one because you wasn't paying attention to me. So

07:38 So can you tell me about some of the other most important things that happened in your life during that time before you go into the military and during and after important things?

07:52 Before I get patience is one big thing. I was at Patience by guess.

08:03 My patience level Groove being in the military and

08:09 What question can Christian give me the most important things that happened in your life, but that was before the military and during the day going through something like a responsibility to actually joining and get him when I went and seen your phone to a boot camp cuz it's a big deal and

08:29 Read your stories about boot camp Nothing Compares, you know and just falling through was like a big a big deal for me. So what happened to you during the boot camp experience during finishing do my best and after after main, you see what happens and they're really motivated to have that much experience to get to Military and then once they realize it is what they expect or dig a little complacent and then if the fire kind of dies out and then there before his eyes out cuz military E4 rank. Yeah compete for a current position now and when some people find out you can compete all the time they like, okay. Well, I know I know if I can get I can post my way through.

09:29 My intentions weren't for life is just for something to do is to go through an experience or way to go through the court. I'm so through that experience War through the wartime. What is some of the most important lessons you learned compassion you things now like materialism in you see how people live over there and let the kids and the stuff we complain about here. It really has no

10:06 See people living on dirt floors and a happy but people get mad that they are the TV's broken overhearing like an older. That's all I can so I can complain about is this this is broken and this is broken or I don't have this nice car or I don't have this kind of money, but I'm outside of real people are just as you probably even happier because you know, they're they have their family when they put their value and something else. That's one thing. I kind of learned about that guy that was over there. You know that I called you at one time, but haven't I haven't been to my interpreter you call my mom leave my phone number. So have you been in contact with any of the guys Boston area? So what are you most proud of?

10:50 I finished my medical product Today USA.

11:01 I did compliment about my personality and then I'm a nice person despite, you know being I guess people's

11:08 God if you're in the military or supposed to be a marine that you're supposed to always be a marine all the time. He used a key fixed a change of personality, but it always been the same me getting back home from my first tour in second or my I'm pretty sure I change a little bit but not so much people didn't recognize me. I always been me none.

11:34 Is there anything you never told me that you want to tell me now anyting?

11:44 No, I want to do something. You have to get to give you more specific things that I haven't told you because it's not really relevant. You know, how do you feel about your sister not being a part of your military experience but it is what it is. What are you most afraid of?

12:08 Afraid of

12:12 Say maybe failure.

12:18 Reddit eating something I really want to do this because I'm kind of not too much lazy in my music distracted and so I jump around from stuff to stuff and I kind of slows my progression. My biggest fear is I'm going to keep doing that until it's too late whatever. I'm trying to achieve by the time.

12:43 That's all the questions I have for you son. That's it. Yeah.

12:57 I really didn't have too many body because most of them I already know what are some of the reasons why you joined. We already kind of talked about that a little bit. They did you have any fears join in the military?

13:12 Marshall Mega I guess not fitting in when you first got into the military that you put physical at the end. How did you feel about that physical when you had to take that?

13:35 And I can join the military to become strong. That's like the least of my my goals of joining now. It isn't like I want to join the military to get muscle.

13:46 I'm going to come by your house tomorrow.

13:49 When you were deployed.

13:53 How did you feel about going away from home for the first time on that one?

13:58 I was nervous system only time anybody airplane three times to Texas and back and special leaving. The country is a deciding cuz I'm going to see different countries, but it still kind of like this is I can never see home again kind of things. That could be the last time I ever set foot here, or see my parents for Mom.

14:17 When you was first deployed, where did you go? Okay, let's add border Northern Iraq and the second time.

14:30 Tell Amber I believe the whole province is Northern Iraq. So it's above Bagdad so back that's the capital of Iraq, and I believe that somewhere on the center. I'm just kind of guessing but I believe it's just it's not the largest city second largest city in City.

14:54 Where am I?

15:03 You're only going to Charter plane and you fly into quite the Kuwaiti airport. And then from Kuwait, I believe you you staying away for a couple days, which is a big big big humongous. You stay there and he's kind of they receive all the stuff you're going to be doing and to give you permission. And then from there you can wait there and if I sit outside for my see my 5 6 hours helicopters coming in is by that time is nighttime saying what you see they don't want people seeing the helicopters and all the people getting off. So this is a night time you get on the helicopter and then you're writing your writing across the whole country. And did you land you land in small camera to base with small land there and you get off and then there you are and then it's what separates from uterus from the cities and just like this picture like a cardboard box type of material is fill dirt in about as tall as his trailer and a sand bags on top of the other side. That's that the whole city and then here too.

16:03 Dog barking in here to cars driving by in the next we know you're there and then that night I want to control for the first time the last one and then that night we got in a standoff with the police clean it recognizes. So we're in the street and they were both pointing guns at each other until finally somebody recognize who we were looking at and then I got back from Patrol and then I stood I could post until morning time by myself. Once that time goes by becomes this is routine is living out here. Is this another day, so when you

16:45 Went to bed that night and you woke up the next morning. What was your first thought I would imagine you still swinging things the whole nother lifestyle was a Heartbeat Away From Home.

17:04 No, no, no being away from Mom. And so tell me about some of your interactions interactions with some of the people there.

17:25 I have nothing against you like most people who who I serve with the whole like a stigma like you think, you know, everybody's a terrorist or it's like a

17:36 Like a blanket stereotype for everybody, you know, they could be hospitable Nick and wave know this, I get how do you this? How do that which I'm not going to lie? I joined am but I wasn't no more to like crowds for Germans dislike dehumanizing people to make it easier and but underneath all that. I have no I've never seen two people like, you know that you can't be crowns and drawing the paper and all the kids and candy and some family invited us over for like food or do give a tea or if I got really nice. I mean it just like to go to work every day and come home is this state is live in that kind of place. Where is that kind of turmoil and you know Warring factions

18:22 Know what was your experience after you had your first experience being deployed and you went to the second one wasn't any difference was what did you feel like you had enough experience on the first one to handle the second one. First one was more of a person with perfect introduction to nothing really happened was just like yours a raccoon and you know how that is always pictured the first anymore. So I had to handle people and how to handle situations and have and how to get used to that lifestyle second one was more. So like, you know, The Syndicate a second was more I guess warlike just cuz the hell history of Fallujah and it's how big it is when we first got there that night that told his lap a month ago.

19:06 Can you give me stop the basement to we went to Felicia and we have to guard this road? I believe it's called Wolverine and it's the city of Fallujah to the north. If you go down south which one single turbo down south. We're right in the middle of Base, which is probably as big as this parking lot, which is about maybe I say 300 by 300 feet is 20 guys in there 15-20 guys and then down a couple more miles was the actual main main base. So we're the only guard post in between the city and the main base and so all military traffic had to come down this road and when we first got there to head home and you said the dirt road there was big

19:47 I'ma say this like Burns that way like Burns is like a

19:52 Vegetable small mounds of dirt made by lake house at 6070 INF if I delay and I decided I could hide and to see me so about two months before we got there. They told us that somebody before inserting snuck over to burn by the bay. Shut up the bass and in walked upstairs and shot him in the back of head and we got there there still Blood on the ground and all that kind of stuff and you have to stay there and ended at night a bomb went off with one of trucks and then two days later when I was on post a bomb went off maybe by 40 feet down there by now the road

20:30 When you're done with slime or I guess in your face when you came back.

20:39 The first week all matter-of-fact the first week home on the first day home. What was some of your immediate thoughts. You know, you made it our or are you glad to be home or what?

20:52 This is the first I was just I just can't wait to go chill come get these boots and get a camouflage and be normal living normal life out there. How did you feel happy? Happy somebody who can relate that since Terry and you're working with kids and you're doing all these wonderful things. How do you

21:23 Apply some of your military experience with working with some of the kids restraint and

21:38 When will kid in the military I mean is that really so much transferability? Anyways, this is a whole nother animal but this the small things like how you would direct a group of people. Now, how did you get into arts and crafts?

21:53 Minecraft that's what you do right at the school. So how did you become arts and crafts person around me, but you never did anything, You did a few but not to the point where you're at. Now, how did that happen watching watching anything else you want to tell me about the military that I need to know or just want to share some stories and washer.

22:25 Usher Story how I thought I was going to die.

22:30 It was one one night. We got a call saying that house was rigged to explode and so me being me I volunteered to go and then we go there and then I take a shower first appointment in Boys first album get it to be first cuz my position is like anywhere if anything were to happen. I'm always up front and I know I'm always amused that feeling and I know how to handle myself like I'm always prepared kind of thing. And so you load up in these trucks and then I have a shotgun. I don't have a shotgun and blow in the back and it was about the military rifle shotgun. I like a two barrel shotgun single barrel shotgun and turn back into traffic and it's raining and it's called and I don't know why I second-guess myself, and I don't know why I'm volunteering his house about to explode and or walking through and it's

23:31 You feel more comfortable if it's an unfamiliar part of town, like I'm so excited City where I've been that when you go to somewhere newest. It's throwing off whack. I don't know you said that window being there and you see this window being there and you know, we're always look for the new places. Like I didn't see that window there. I didn't see that crack. I just passed kind of thing. So we're we're all walking up and we service around this house and then we have to

23:56 Open the gate in this meeting a guy named rustad. And where we were kneeling in front of the gate and indicators that you're ready. And I looked behind myself for a second. Everybody's ducking behind walls and just leave him sitting there to check open gate. No explosion when I don't know why that one that's open the door and make any sense. So we opened the door and it says it's a family in there. I guess there was wires. Hang around but I guess that's why they call it in cuz he'll wires but there was a near-sellout actual bum. When was over there when there's one time where we disable the bomb Rockies came and they came with the racket police that came with the, 155 e Bassy artillery shell is roughly about how old is your forearm is about for my fingertip to Elbow.

24:56 They come up in your tits bouncing in the back of the truck like paying for 24 hours May park next to my truck and we will have to get out and then he picks it up and I'm an interpreter. I'm getting up my notepad and then I have my arms like this and all the sudden. I see it and he dropped it in my arms and I'm carrying this thing. I tell him that I give it back to him and they drive off in this is Bob in the back of the truck and they just just disarmed it. The cell phone attached to and everything. Are they with a sad cuz it's unregulated breathing so they can read on their own and they just like a New York the movie One game here in one game here in a four pack animals. So you have packs and packs fun pack of dogs fighting in constant barking.

25:55 Cosby running up and down the streets at night time is the worst because you're trying to be sneaky the dogs to do their senses. They can get a sitter barking at you trying to hide what happened when you had that killed that guy what happened in that story went when that guy a story it was.

26:13 Cuz I know you was on top of that building on top of the building when you called me it was next to you to River is next to a main river and we scarcely get Rocket attacks. They drop rockets in our base and our place is pretty small is maybe it's

26:38 Going to go get size comparison Not Your Average.

26:43 Grocery store to Vons and empty everything out but inside that basters military trucks and there's shower so I filled it fills up pretty quick and play some lunch rockets and every time they hit something all the time we miss anything. So finally, we got a flamethrower and be burned down all the bushes around it so we can see the whole river and

27:08 Give me that night that night. We were working with the CDs or basically Navy construction Crews and we were helping connect the water line from that River to cross the main.

27:22 MSR main Supply route would mostly trucks drive and all I can do is like a Highway 69 rather big rigs drive to have that kind of stuff in a wreck. And so we were digging around the area but I'm known to us that we were put away from a weapons cache a where they keep all their rifles and other boys all the stuff that used to bomb has I saw that night we saw on our power be a big tower that's like up in the sky and it it can pan 360 and has night vision and has infrared you can see everything for Miles even like you could see rabbits and bugs flying across the sky specs. Okay guys digging up and so Our intention work wasn't there. That's the we don't roll up his killing meow. So we getting our trucks and I'm the first one that mean I'm going to turn this is basically

28:12 Stick my head out the top of the chart and have a gun in front of me and we go you drive up and they try to stay still we can see him and surround them and then we have dismounted basic people got back in the truck and we're all facing facing when I all the spacing but I was facing towards those people and to get out remember all their and a guy named Ewell. UCI is suda y'all get on a crossover to burn. Mynheer Mike Pritchard weather down here. Stop stop. Please stop and then you're all the shootings are happening. See them jump back over and then we just let him have a school teacher and one was something else. They're hiding away from where we're digging in the yard.

29:12 When they told you that someone had got killed in your other one.

29:20 It's kind of like a part of the job. And if you do it and you can handle then what good are you? You know what the situation where it happens again just can't climb up. So you was on top of the bear on top of the Dead.

29:45 My body is a periscope. This is like a hole in the end of Top Guns matter to a bracket and you can Crank It Like a Model T Ford crank like that and it rotates 360 or you can make it loose and can grab two bars and turn it like that. So is there anything else you want to tell me?

30:10 Other than that I can tell you this random stories has a little funny things about the sunset cuz I told you to look at the Moon while you was looking at the moon. I was looking at Moon and the Sun and it's clear. You can see stars is Les sports bars Countryside so is less and less smog Stars galaxies how to make a big star clusters and house like purple.

30:46 When galaxies Collide stars and everything so dense, you can see is like like a purple Vapor you can see it can moving across I hate that I lost those sunsets well.

31:04 I guess that's all the questions I have for you son. Yeah, it was interesting. I never knew it all that but I have to say this and I want everybody to know this about you. I'm very proud of you, but you turned out to be a cool son very cool, son, and I love you very much.