Marine cheered as he sets to depart

By RICHARD LUKEN
Register Reporter

Register/Richard Luken
Above, Lance Cpl. Jerry Donaldson, who will depart next week for a yearlong tour in Iraq with the Marines, receives a flag and other tokens of appreciation from Darrell Dudley, right, and other members of the Moran American Legion Riders.

MORAN — A large group of cheery well-wishers shared laughs, hugs and plenty of cheers for Jerry Donaldson Saturday.
Donaldson, 24, a Marine lance corporal, leaves next week for a yearlong stay in Iraq.
“It’s pretty neat,” Donaldson said, of the crowd of family and friends that gathered in his honor.
The group feasted on roast hog, potato salad, beans and dessert, while the well-wishers signed a pair of giant flags and a supersized card. The event was spearheaded by John and Susan Booth of Moran, who worked with Donaldson in the summer of 2005 aboard a fishing boat in Alaska.
“When he told us about his deployment, we knew wanted to do something,” Susan Booth said.
Members of the Moran American Legion Post 385 eagerly joined the preparations.
The Booths and George and Lori Stephens donated the meat, which was smoked by Chris and Julie Smith. Members of the American Legion Auxiliary prepared the desserts. Also on hand were members of Moran’s American Legion Riders post, who presented Donaldson with a flag.
“There were many people who offered to help in any way they could,” Booth said.
Donaldson joined the Marines in January 2008 and volunteered for duty in Iraq.
“It was something to do,” he joked.
Donaldson will serve with a military police company with Combat Logistics Battalion 46.
Service in Iraq in nothing new for the Donaldson family. His brother, Jeff, served in Iraq with the Army in 2005 and 2006.