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VIRGIN ISLANDERS ON DUTY IN THE MIDDLE EAST

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Editor's note: The Source newspapers will publish available information about Virgin Islanders who are serving their country in connection with the war against Iraq — those in the military and also those working with agencies providing emergency relief and/or humanitarian assistance.
For news received after April 2003, see new file.
Please e-mail information about yourself or any family member serving in these regards to [email protected]. Provide the individual's full name, age, rank, service branch or organization, home island, immediate family members in the Virgin Islands, brief description of education and training, and, if possible, a description of where the person is based or has been deployed. Please limit the information to about 200 words. We welcome photos.
Marine Corps 1st Lt. Julito Drake / St. Thomas
April 23, 2003 (Fleet News) – Marine Corps 1st Lt. Julito E. Drake, son of Lauraine A. Drake of St. Thomas, is participating in Operation Iraqi Freedom while assigned to the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), based in Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Since their arrival in country, Marines and sailors from Drake's unit engaged enemy forces in Al Kut; conducted several successful convoy operations, including one containing 93 vehicles; and began a rebuilding process in the village of Hasham. The unit also went to the town of Al Rifa, where they removed large berms put in place by the Iraqi soldiers.
Drake's unit is an expeditionary intervention force with the ability to rapidly organize for combat operations in virtually any environment. MEUs are composed of more than 2,000 personnel and are divided into an infantry battalion, aircraft squadron, support group and command element. With this combination, Drake's unit supplies and sustains itself for quick mission accomplishment and for clearing the way for follow-on forces.
Drake joined the Marine Corps in January 2000.
Navy Lt. j.g. Robert Scatliffe / St. Croix
April 24, 2003 (Fleet News)–Navy Lt. j.g. Robert L. Scatliffe, son of Sarah M. and Gerome L. Scatliffe of Sunny Isle, St. Croix, is currently participating in Operation Iraqi Freedom while assigned to the dock landing ship USS Rushmore, home ported in San Diego, Calif.
Scatliffe is one of more than 4,000 Pacific Fleet sailors and Marines aboard the ships of the Tarawa Amphibious Ready Group.
USS Rushmore supports amphibious operations using specially designed hovercraft that travel above land and sea surfaces and deliver vehicles and equipment. The ship also has conventional landing craft and helicopters embarked, and is equipped with medical facilities staffed by Navy doctors, dentists, nurses and corpsmen.
Scatliffe is a 1992 graduate of St. Croix Central High School, and a 1999 graduate of the University of the Virgin Island. He joined the Navy in May 1999.
Navy Seaman Marcus A. Lee / St. Croix
April 21, 2003 (Fleet News) – Navy Seaman Marcus A. Lee, son of Joanna Leon of Frederiksted, is currently participating in Operation Iraqi Freedom in the Arabian Gulf while assigned to Sea Control Squadron 22, embarked aboard the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman, which is homeported in Norfolk, Va.
Lee is one of more than 8,000 Atlantic Fleet sailors and Marines aboard the ships of the USS Harry S. Truman carrier battle group.
Based at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla., Lee's squadron flies the S-3B Viking, a multi-purpose jet aircraft capable of long-range surveillance of shipping, air-to-air refueling, locating and destroying enemy submarines, and other missions as required.
U.S. Army SSG Mayowa Mba Miller / St. Thomas
SSG Mayowa Mba Miller, U.S. Army, B Co. 37th EN BN, a 1989 graduate of Charlotte Amalie High School, is on duty in the Middle East. His parents are Karl and Maxine M. Fredericks.
He told his mother recently he was fine, that it was very hot and dusty. She asked what he'd like to have sent, and he mentioned baby wipes, since they seldom get to take showers. Her other suggestions for people sending packages to loved ones: waterless handwash, global telephone cards, snacks and freezer bags.
Petty Officer 1st Class Steve A. Hodge / St. Thomas
April 7, 2003 (Fleet Home Town News) — Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Steve A. Hodge, son of Ola M. Hodge of St. Thomas, recently participated in the opening phase of Operation Iraqi Freedom in the Arabian Gulf while assigned to the amphibious assault ship USS Tarawa, homeported in San Diego, Calif.
Hodge is part of a coalition amphibious force that includes approximately 33,000 sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen participating in the largest military action in the Arabian Gulf region since Operation Desert Storm.
During the operation, AV-8B Harrier attack jets have launched from Hodge's ship towards the skies over Iraq. The Harriers have been providing air support to coalition ground forces in Iraq.
USS Tarawa supports amphibious operations using landing craft air cushions, which are specially designed hovercraft that travel above land and sea surfaces and deliver vehicles and equipment. The ship also has conventional landing craft and helicopters embarked, and is equipped with medical facilities staffed by Navy doctors, dentists, nurses and corpsmen.
Hodge joined the Navy in January 1990.
1st Lt. Julito E. Drake / St. Thomas
April 8, 2003(Fleet Home Town News) — Marine Corps 1st Lt. Julito E. Drake, son of Lauraine A. Drake of St. Thomas, recently landed on the shore of Kuwait in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom while assigned to the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), based in Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Drake is one of more than 4,000 Atlantic Fleet sailors and Marines who deployed aboard the ships of the USS Nassau Amphibious Ready Group. The 24th MEU has been deployed for more than seven months. During the deployment, Drake's unit has participated in training, humanitarian assistance and peace support operations in Spain, Italy, Kosovo, Kenya and Djibouti, Africa.
Drake's unit is an expeditionary intervention force with the ability to rapidly organize for combat operations in virtually any environment. MEUs are composed of more than 2,000 personnel and are divided into an infantry battalion, aircraft squadron, support group and command element. With this combination, Drake's unit supplies and sustains itself for quick mission accomplishment and for clearing the way for follow-on forces.
Drake joined the Marine Corps in January 2000.
Military cousins / St. Croix, St. Thomas
April 5, 2003 – Virgin Islander Glen Byron of Miami writes that he has several cousins in military service in Iraq: Army Sgt. Leo Gardener III is originally from St. Thomas, but his mother, Lorma Molloy, is from St. Croix. Carl Henneman, from St. Croix, is in the Air Force; his father is Olaf Henneman of Henneman Ice Co. and his mother is Milly Henneman. Christina Allick, in the Air Force, is the first black female fighter pilot, Byron writes. Christina's father is Melvin Allick.
Cpl. Trevor A. Pant / St. Croix
April 3, 2003 (Fleet Home Town News) – Marine Corps Cpl. Trevor A. Pant, son of Doreen C. and Valentine B. Pant of Kingshill, St. Croix, was recently called to active duty in support of the global war on terrorism while assigned to Company "L", 3rd Battalion, 23rd Marines, 4th Marine Division, based in Montgomery, Ala.
4th Marine Division is the largest ground combat element in the Marine Corps and is comprised of approximately 22,000 Marines based in 42 states. The unit's primary mission is to provide trained combat and combat support personnel and units to augment and reinforce the active Marine component in time of war or national emergency.
Pfc. Karl C. A. Brodie / St. Thomas
April 3, 2003 (Fleet Home Town News) — Marine Corps Pfc. Karl C. A. Brodie, a 2001 graduate of Ivanna Eudora Kean High School on St. Thomas, recently made his way th
rough the Straits of Gibraltar and into the Mediterranean Sea while assigned to the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, based in Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Brodie is one of more than 4,000 Pacific Fleet Sailors and Marines aboard the ships of the USS Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group.
Brodie's unit is an expeditionary intervention force with the ability to rapidly organize for combat operations in virtually any environment. MEUs are composed of more than 2,000 personnel and are divided into an infantry battalion, aircraft squadron, support group and command element. With this combination, Brodie's unit supplies and sustains itself for either quick mission accomplishment or clearing the way for follow-on forces.
CWO2 David Felix / St. Croix
March 21, 2003 — U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 David Felix from St. Croix serves in the 2/44 Air Defense Artillery Unit. He is stationed in Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
Felix's parents are Enrique Felix and Juanita Corcino.
Felix's wife, Evonne Torres Felix, also is from St. Croix and is also at Fort Campbell. She writes of the 2/44 ADA Unit: "They are defenders of the sky. This unit as well as all the units in Fort Campbell are trained to accomplish the task at hand with the utmost precision and dedication. Throughout the years they have prepared and mastered their particular military occupational specialty."
She adds: "The spouses left behind have some legitimate concern under the circumstance of war; however, we also have a sense of peace that only the Lord can grant us during a storm as difficult as the one we are facing … we are confident that our soldiers are more than qualified to accomplish their mission. These men and women are led by extraordinary leaders who not only are professionals in their field of expertise but also are bound by a camaraderie, pride and honor in defending this great nation."

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