Chris See preparing to leave for military service in Iraq

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Chris See of near Patriot will leave on January 14th for a four-month tour of duty in Iraq.

Chris See is a member of the U.S. National Guard, and has been in the National Guard for four years. He is a member of the 112nd “Black snakes” headquartered in Fort Wayne.

Chris See said that about 700 soldiers from his base will be going on the 120-day assignment to Iraq, and they will join with other National Guard units from around the country.

In Iraq, Chris See will be stationed at Kirkuk Air Force Base in Northern Iraq; and will one of two firefighters joining the firefighting forces on the base.

“Kirkuk has about 10,000 soldiers on the base,” Chris See said. “I will be serving as a crash rescue firefighter while I’m there, so I’m excited to go over there.”

Chris See said that in his job, anytime an airplane would declare an emergency, he and his fellow firemen will spring into action and meet the plane on the runway. In addition to those emergencies, the firefighting team is also responsible for providing fire protection for the entire base.

Soldiers on the base are a mixture of the joint operation that is a part of “Operation Iraqi Freedom”. Soldiers on the base are a mixture of forces from the U.S. and other allied troops.

Kirkuk is located about 240 kilometers (about 150 miles) north of Baghdad. There are three fire stations on the base, and Chris See will be working with all of the firefighters assigned to the base during his time there.

This will be his first tour of duty in Iraq, and he volunteered to go with his fellow soldiers on this assignment.

“I really don’t know a lot of details right now,” Chris See said. “I guess I’ll learn more when I get there.”

His assignment in Iraq should be finished in May.

Chris See is the son of Randy and Laurice See of near Patriot; and is the grandson of Harold and Nancy See of Rising Sun (formerly of Switzerland County); and Thelma and Pete Howlett of Sunman.

He is a 2001 graduate of Switzerland County High School, and is an active member of Switzerland County EMS.

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While serving in Iraq, as time permits Chris See has agreed to communicate with Vevay Newspapers via email to give residents a first-hand account of what’s going there. Look for Chris See’s updates in future issues. — Editor.