Memphis marine in Afghanistan has special message on Independence Day

(WMC-TV) – This Fourth of July holiday is a particularly important time for us to remember those who are still fighting for our freedom.

That includes Houston High School graduate Marine Corporal Erica Steele. She is in Afghanistan right now and spoke with Action News 5 about this Independence Day holiday and what it means for her.

Afghanistan is thousands of miles away from Memphis but Corporal Erica Steele says if you walk around her Marine base, you just might hear a Memphis drawl or two.

Steele said that there are several mid-southerners on her base and they all have something in common. They miss Memphis barbecue.

"Oh, there's nothing like Memphis barbecue. I miss Memphis barbecue so much but they do what they can. At our chow hall, we get normal meals and sometimes they barbecue but nothing like Memphis. There is nothing like Memphis barbecue," she said over the phone.

Steel arrived in Afghanistan in April.

For Independence Day, the military arranged for Steel and other service members to talk with loved ones here in the United States. She says it is great for morale.

"Yes, they are in Memphis. I have a mother, Tina Steele, who lives in Cordova and then I have an aunt who actually works for channel five with you guys, Teressa Johnson," she said.

The Houston High School graduate said she keeps up with the goings on in the Mid-South through her family members in Memphis and through Facebook.

Steele has heard a lot about the current heat wave in Memphis and she compares it with temperatures in Afghanistan.

"Actually I think its hotter only because we are dryer. I remember the Memphis heat and all the humidity so it's kind of either, or its kind of a tie I would say," she said.

Steele is honored to be serving her country in Afghanistan. She had a special holiday message for us here and her family.

"You know, Happy Independence Day and, ah, we miss you and we appreciate all the support you guys are sending us out here. I love my family and I'm coming home soon and just wait a just a little bit longer and I'll be there I promise," she said.

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