HADITHA DAM, Iraq -- Most people begin thinking about retirement by the time they reach 50 years old. Being in or around a combat environment would likely be the last thing they would be considering. For one 57-year-old hospital corpsman with 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, age will not slow him down.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Paul G. Nutter, a hospital corpsman from Akron, Ohio, is overseas and serving his country for a second time. This time though he is with a different service.
Nutter graduated from Akron-Butchel High School in 1966 where he won the regional 100-yard backstroke and 50-yard individual medley events in 1965 and 1966.
Upon graduating Nutter wanted to do something different instead of going to school or working at the local factory.
"My uncle was a Marine veteran of World War II. He inspired with my decision to go with the best," Nutter said. "So I joined the Corps."
In the Corps, Nutter served as an infantryman with Force Recon and participated in the Easter Offense in Hue City.
"This was the first time that we had ever fought house-to-house and street-to-street," Nutter stated. "The MOUT (Military Operations Urban Terrain) training that Marines go through today is a result of that."
After serving eight years in the Marine Corps, reaching the rank of gunnery sergeant, Nutter returned to civilian life. Returning from serving his country, he found himself continuing to serve those in need by becoming a fireman and paramedic. During this time he also attended Akron University and graduated with an Associate's Degree in Gerontology in 1978.
In 1990 he became a full-time paramedic and decided to serve his nation again, but this time he choose a different Corps.
"I joined the Naval Reserves as a field corpsman right at the start of the Gulf war," Nutter said. "I wanted to be able to help my fellow Marines with the knowledge I had gained from my civilian life experience."
While he didn't get the chance to deploy then, he kept his skills sharp so if he were ever called upon he would be ready.
As Operation Iraqi Freedom rolled into its third year, he received his chance to deploy in support of the Marines. In March he found himself in Iraq with the Marines of 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment.
Though his wife has concerns for his safety due to his age, Nutter knows the Marines around him will keep him safe.
"My wife worries more now because of my age than she did when I was deployed in '66. We were just dating back then," He explained. "I know that everything will be alright as long as the Marines are here and the corpsman are here to keep them healthy."
Nutter has served 23 years in the military and is the oldest service member attached to the battalion. He plans to retire after his mission here.
"I've seen a lot, done a lot and made a difference over the past few decades. I never had any regrets as long as I know I helped keep the Marines and the Naval Corps going strong," Nutter finished.