Roger Kraft

Gunnery Sgt. Roger Kraft, company gunnery sergeant for Lima Co., 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, packs his gear with his wife’s help Feb. 17, 2006, at his residence on Marine Corps Base Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, before deploying the next day to Iraq. Just eight months after their deployment to Afghanistan, the Hawaii-based Marines have departed their base in Hawaii for a seven-month deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. “It takes a very special man to sacrifice his comfort and the comfort of those who he loves most in order to make a difference to his country,” said Lt. Col. Norman Cooling, the unit’s commanding officer. “That’s the kind of men that serve in this unit – in ‘America’s Battalion.’ “It’s a real sacrifice that few are willing to make. “ The Marines will be replacing the Camp Pendleton, Calif.-based 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, in the “Triad” region of Haditha, Haqliniyah, and Barwanah along the Euphrates River in western Iraq. The battalion will work hand-in-hand with local Iraqi Security Forces to conduct counterinsurgency operations, as well as advise and guide Iraqi soldiers so they can eventually take operational control of Al Anbar Province. Kraft is a native of Jacksonville, N.C. (Photo by Sgt. Roe F. Seigle)

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