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2nd LAR embarks to Anbar province of Iraq

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJUENE, N.C. (March 18, 2008) -- Family members and friends bade farewell to Marines with 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion March 18.

http://www.marines.mil/marinelink/mcn2000.nsf/lookupstoryref/200832244349

March 18, 2008; Submitted on: 03/22/2008 04:43:49 AM ; Story ID#: 200832244349
By Cpl. Ryan L. Tomlinson, 1st Marine Division

The battalion deployed to the Anbar province of Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom for the units’ fifth tour to Iraq. While in Iraq, 2nd LAR will assist Regimental Combat Team 5 with the transition of control from Coalition forces to Iraqi Security Forces. Much of the region that 2nd LAR will operate in has seen a surge in Iraqi Army and Iraqi Police participation in providing security to the more than 600,000 Iraqis that reside there.

“I couldn’t have asked for better Marines to go to combat with,” said Lt. Col. Russell E. Smith, battalion commander of 2nd LAR, as he addressed the hundreds of family members and Marines. “We are ready for this deployment, and I will do everything in my power to bring every one of them home safe.”

During the event, tents were set up for treats given to the service members and their families as well as an inflatable trampoline for the children to play on.

After Marines relaxed with their loved ones, they held a battalion formation of troops, plus their families, to be briefed on the plan for the seven-month deployment.

“I’m excited to go, but not so excited for leaving my girlfriend here,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Jesse A. Rodriguez, a corpsman with Headquarters and Service Company, 2nd LAR. “I just spent as much time as I could with her, and that was rewarding.”