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Photo by Lance Cpl. Paul Robbins Jr.

3/4 Marines maintain vigilance in Fallujah

24 Jun 2005 | Lance Cpl. Paul Robbins Jr.

Dreaming of friends, family, fast food and parties, the Marines of 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment are closing in on the end of their third deployment to Iraq. Although thoughts of home are ever present in their minds, the seasoned veterans of the battalion refuse to let “short-timer” anxiety affect their operations here. “We definitely have a lot to look forward to,” said Cpl. Daniel F. Scull, a 23-year-old squad leader for Company I, “but every day you get out there and do your job like you normally would, whether you have six months left or one.” A constant, possibly increased, pressure on the enemy is necessary for the battalion’s upcoming redeployment, according to Capt. Jason M. West, the 32-year-old assistant operations officer for the battalion. “The enemy we’re fighting doesn’t operate on a deployment schedule,” said West, a native of Tuscaloosa, Ala., “It doesn’t matter if we’re heading into the city for the first or last time, we have to maintain focus.” More than two-thirds of the battalion has deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom three times, making most of the Marines accustomed to the problem of maintaining vigilance. “They know the dangers they face on a daily basis and they know complacency kills,” West said. Despite the dangers of terrorist and insurgent activity, the battalion has had a successful deployment on many levels, according to West. Suffering minimal casualties and not losing a single Marine to enemy attacks, the battalion has conducted numerous successful operations while in country. The levels of success achieved by the battalion stand as a challenge to the Marines who are planning to leave Iraq on a positive note. “We just don’t want anything bad to happen before we leave,” said Pfc. Jesse A. Hoss, 20-year-old rifleman for Company I. “We’re going to stay focused on the task at hand.”