Picures of My Friends:
Picures of My Family:
My flying web page:
Puerto Rico Deployment:
3 Months in California:
Camp Lejeune, NC:
2nd Iraq Deployment:
3rd Iraq Deployment:
Additional Sophia Pictures:
Illinois Men's Lacrosse Homepage
Mike Vanderweide's Web Page
About Mike Vanderweide:
Hi. Thank you for visiting my page. A little about myself... I was
born and grew up in Durham, North Carolina. You can click here to read about
My Family. I went to highschool at
Durham Academy and graduated in 1997. My extra-curricular activities in highschool included
playing goalie for the State Champion Durham Academy lacrosse team, leading church youth group,
and I obtained the rank of Eagle Scout with
Troop 412 where I am still an assistant scoutmaster. I
graduated from University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign in May 2001 with a degree in Civil Engineering from the
College of Engineering with
a concentration in construction management and a secondary in hydrology. In college I played for the
Illinois Men's Club Lacrosse Team. I was goalie and a
co-captain of the team for three years and being rated the number 1 club goalie in the country.
I still also enjoy camping and backpacking and have hiked over 250 miles of the Appalachian Trail. Click here for more
about my interest in backpacking.
In addition to all this, I pursued my interest in flying and have gotten my private,
instrument, commercial license with a high performance and taildragger sign-off.
My Junior year in college I signed the paper work to join the Navy Civil Engineer Corps.
It turned out to be a great opportunity. They helped me pay for school until I graduated, and then upon
graduation I did 4 years of civil engineering with the Navy. If I had gone directly into the private sector, I would
have just done lower level engineering work waiting to take my Professional Engineer Exam, so I
figured why not spend those 4 years doing something different.
My first two years I was stationed with the SeaBees doing military engineering including post-war and disaster relief
work. I was homeported out of Gulfport Mississippi. My first deployment was for 4 months in
Puerto Rico , then I spent 3 months training in
California and then in October of 2002 I deployed to Guam. I
only spent 1 month in Guam until we deployed to Kuwait in support of Operation Enduring
Freedom and then to Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. In Iraq we built expedient bridges in support of the
Marines and I was put in charge of a humanitarian detail which restored water
and electricity, repaired schools, and removed destroyed military vehicles in the city of An
Numiniyah. Click here to see pictures and read about my deployment to the desert.
We returned to Gulfport in June of 2003 and after training for 8 months we deployed again in February 2004
to Rota, Spain. In June I transfered to the Naval Hospital in Camp Lejeune, NC where I was the facilities manager,
handling everything from toilets to emergency generators. I got off of active duty service in June of 2006 and
transferred to the Marine Reserves in the 4th Civil Affairs Group with the knowledge that they would be deploying to
Iraq in September. We left in September and I was made the detachment XO for the Fallujah detachment. It was
extremely rewarding and we were able to make some great progress in restoring order and governance and reducing the
abilities of Al Qaeda. Click here to read more about my second Iraq deployment.
The next big event in my life was on May 6th 2006 when I married Heather Swanson, also a Civil Engineer
in the Navy. Click here to see pictures from our wedding. She has finished her active
duty time in June 2007 and we moving to Charlottesville, VA to start our civilian lives. She accepted a job at a site
civil engineering firm and I took a job at the University of Virginia Medical Center doing construction project management. We
bought a house in Charlottesvile which you can see picture of here. It
has lots of woods and is just up the road from a county lake with swimming and boating. In 2011 our daughter Sophia was born
and in 2014 our son James was born.
As for the Marine Corps, in 2007 I took a position as the Company Commander at Charlie Company 4th Combat Engineers in
Lynchburg VA. I was planning on little quiet time but in April 2008 the battalion commander told me that my company would
need to send a platoon to Iraq. Normally a platoon commander would have taken them, but me being the only officer in
Charlie Company, the only other way would have been to send them without an officer. So I decided to deploy and we went to
California for training in November and deployed to Iraq in April 2009. We did lots of exciting things from searching for IED's
along the roads to building force protection measures (like berms and bunkers) for both US and Iraqi forces. We also inventoried
and prepared for shipping over $10M of Engineering equipment like bulldozers and flatbeads.You can see pictures from this third
deployment here. It was an interesting deployment because we were able to help
the Iraqi Army and Police become more self sufficient and take more responsibility for the security of their country. It was also
interesting to see the changes in Iraq from my first deployment for the initial invasion and my last as the US military was leaving
Iraq. When my daughter was born I decided I needed to focus on raising my family so I got out of the military.
Well, that's all for now. Thanks again for visiting my site, and please browse through the pages on the
left to see more about me, my family, and my friends.