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thedrifter
03-01-08, 08:47 AM
CLB 6 ready to defend freedom
KEVIN FORSYTHE
2008-03-01 00:38:00
DAILY NEWS STAFF

More than 300 Marines and sailors from Combat Logistics Battalion 6 deployed for Iraq on Friday in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Just before the Marines and sailors loaded onto the buses, Brig. Gen. James A. Kessler, commanding general of the 2nd Marine Logistics Group, told them: "Good luck, but you don't need it; you're well trained to do the job ahead of you."

With family and friends of the soon-to-depart Marines and sailors listening intently as well, Kessler went on, "I wish you the very best. Keep your head in the game, and don't relax until you're sitting back here again."

The battalion is comprised of units providing logistical support by means of supply, maintenance, engineering, medical and dental services and postal services.

Up to the final minutes, Lance Cpl. Michael Boudreau, 22, was stowing away the last of his gear in preparation for the seven-month deployment.

"It's a job we've had four months of training for," Boudreau said. "The sooner I get there, the sooner I'll be home."

As a heavy equipment mechanic, Boudreau said he expects to be kept busy while in Iraq.

For Boudreau's girlfriend, Jenny Chhan, things were beginning to catch up with her.

"It all really hit me today that he really is going. If I don't cry before he goes, I certainly will tonight," she said.

Sgt. Rachel Carmichael was set for her first deployment.

"I'm pretty excited," she said. "We're well prepared, and I just want to get to it."

Battalion Commander Lt. Col. David Eskelund said 40 percent of the Marines about to deploy were doing so for their first time. He said the battalion is a mix of active duty, reserves and inactive ready reserves. More than 100 of the Marines were inactive ready reserves.

Sgt. Thomas Rabern, a communications radio operator, sat quietly away from the crowd with his fianc e, mother and grandmother just before his first deployment.

"I'm a little anxious," Rabern said. "But my fianc e just bought me a new car to come back to," he joked.

His fianc e, Rebecca Early, said it's been difficult preparing for this day. "I think we've said goodbye about 18 times at this point, and the anticipation of him going is very difficult."

Rabern's mother, Amy Kehl, began to explain her feelings.

"We're a very emotional family and ...," was as much as Kehl could get out before becoming too choked up to finish.

Contact Kevin Forsythe at kforsythe@freedomenc.com or 910-353-1171, ext. 8449. Visit www.jdnews.com to comment on this report.

Ellie

thedrifter
03-01-08, 08:49 AM
See you soon, son
2008-03-01 00:38:00
THE DAILY NEWS/JOHN ALTHOUSeSee you soon, son

Sgt. Joey Mashburn spends a quiet moment with his son, Bryant, 7 months, before leaving Camp Lejeune on Friday for duty in Iraq with Combat Logistics Battalion 6. Bryant was born while Mashburn was on his previous deployment.

http://images.onset.freedom.com/jdn/1204350153-31a1marinemashburn.jpg