Thursday, August 7, 2008

Linden native fills essential security role in Iraq

AL ASAD AIR BASE, Iraq (July 22, 2008) - One Linden, Ala., native plays a significant role in ensuring the safety of personnel as they oversee transition projects here.

Sgt. Joshua Aldridge, a squad leader with a quick reaction force from Marine Wing Support Squadron 274, Marine Wing Support Group 37, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward) recently escorted representatives of the Coalition Army Advisory Training Team, Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq, during their visit to Hawran, Iraq.

While the group toured the future weapons and leadership training site of the 7th Iraqi Army Division, a squad of Marines, led by Aldridge, provided security.

Quick reaction forces respond to situations that require immediate attention such as search and seizure of personnel, VIP escorts and detainee pickup.

“The best part of my job is the interaction I get to have with my Marines and with the locals where I am deployed.” said Aldridge, who strives to have a positive impact on the Marine he serves with and supervises. “My job is to set the pace for the team leaders within the squad.”

After Aldridge graduated from Marengo Academy in 1998, he joined the Marine Corps. Since joining, he has participated in more than seven deployments and numerous humanitarian operations through out the world.

“Every deployment has been a different experience,” said Aldridge. “I have helped build schools, hospitals, parks and houses for many towns and villages around the world. I get a great sense of pride when I am able to provide somebody with something they wouldn’t have had if it weren’t for me and the Marines I’ve served with.”

During his time in the Corps, Aldridge has continued his college education and hopes to one day work as a chemist for the Centers for Disease Control at the end of his Marine Corps career.

Aldridge will return to the U.S in September when his unit wraps up its current deployment to Iraq.

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