Marine Detachment Deploys to Iraq - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

07/31/06

Marine Detachment Deploys to Iraq

A group of Beaufort Marines are hoping to help curb the recent surge of violence in Iraq. Today, Marines with Air Control Squadron 2, Detachment A left Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort for a six-month deployment.

Marines gave their last hugs and kisses before heading to a challenge they say they're up for.

"I'm excited," said 1st Lt. Kappell Eugene. "This is what we do. This is what we get paid to do."

"I'm really excited," Cpl. Bradley Schnur told us. "I've been waiting for this my entire life."

But saying goodbye is never easy, especially for Staff Sgt. Matthew Tripepi. He's going to miss the birth of his second baby boy.

"It's going to be rough, but we've got to do what we've got to do," he said. "I wish I could be here for the birth, but some things are a little more important."

Although he'll be gone for six months, his wife, April, is going to make sure he doesn't miss out on all the highlights. "We're going to take tons of pictures, video, send it over," she told us.

Gunnery Sgt. James John will also be missing out. "They start school next month, the beginning of next month," he said. "I'll miss all of that."

This is Gunnery Sgt. John's third deployment to Iraq. But for a number of these Marines, this will be their first experience.

"I'm not too nervous," said Staff Sgt. Tripepi. "I'm more nervous about doing my job the best I can than actually going to Iraq."

And now these Marines will be putting their training to the test. These 36 Marines will be providing air traffic control support to air bases and squadrons operating in Iraq.

Reported by: Jaime Dailey, jdailey@wtoc.com

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