Beaufort Marines Deploy to Iraq - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

02/07/07

Beaufort Marines Deploy to Iraq

About a dozen Marines from Marine corps Air Station Beaufort are heading into the danger zone that is in Iraq. They are with the Marine Air Control Squadron II, Detachment A.

Saying goodbye to his family is something First Lt. Dominic Kimzey is getting used to. This is his second deployment to Iraq and his third deployment to the Middle East since the War on Terror began.

"The oldest was eight months old for the first deployment," said Jennifer Kimzey. "He came home and then went back so she was a year old that time and I was pregnant with our second daughter."

Now the couple has three little girls, so this may be the toughest deployment yet.

"They've been used to me now, so it will probably be hard for them," said 1st Lt. Dominic Kimzey.

While the separation will be hard on Dad too, he says his experience in previous deployments will help him and the others accomplish their mission as air traffic controllers.

"Each time we go you have an increase of confidence," said 1st Lt. Kimzey. "Things get better, better gear, better trained marines."

Because of their role, the Detachment is in high demand. In fact, since the war began, they've been on a constant rotation to Iraq.

No one knows that more than Master Sgt Phillip Gardner. This is his third deployment to Iraq. But he says that doesn't make leaving any easier.

"No, not really," said Phillip Gardner. "It's the same. You're used to it though. You have to fight the complacency factor, but its not any easier on the family, not any easier to get ready, but you know what to expect from being there so many times."

With another baby on the way, Gardner is hoping he makes it back on time to see the birth.

"It's going to be real close," said Gardner. "I'd like to be there but we'll have to see what happens."

After a delay Wednesday morning, the group left the Air Station in the afternoon.

Reported by: Jaime Dailey, jdailey@wtoc.com

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