CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Col. Royal P. Mortenson served around the world during a 30-year career as an infantry officer in the Marine Corps.
As commander of an infantry battalion of more than 900 Marines, he led the battalion in combat operations in Iraq in 2003. His battalion took significant casualties during the battle of Al Naziriyah in March of 2003. He personally engaged in direct combat with Iraqi forces.
It’s a lifetime of service he treasures. “I would have done it for free,” he said.