by Jim McMillion
Cpl. Martin M. Dorris, 20, a 2005 graduate from Payson High School, recently spent a two-week leave with family and friends after returning home from Iraq.
Born to Bonnie and James McMillion and adopted by the late Paul Dorris of Payson when his mother remarried, Martin enlisted in the Marines while still a senior in high school.
He took his basic training at San Diego, Calif. before training as a combat engineer and heavy equipment specialist at both Fort Lenardwood, Missouri and Camp Lejeune, N.C.
In Iraq, Dorris had various duties. As a heavy equipment operator, he helped construct bases, check points, and air strips.
As a combat engineer he went on patrols, both in vehicles, (where he manned a 50-caliber machine gun), and on foot (where he operated a mine detector, finding arms and ammunition catches, as well as improvised explosive devices).
Involved in several fire fights with insurgents, Dorris contends that the worst enemy was the heat.
"It would sometimes get to over 130 degrees during the day, and only down to 115 at night. One day it got to 142 degrees."
Among his awards, Dorris received the Navy's "Combat Action Ribbon."
Presently stationed at Camp Lejeune, Corporal Dorris is expected to be redeployed, possibly to Afghanistan, sometime during the coming year.