By: Paul Drewes
KANEOHE (KHNL) - Twice they have served overseas and suffered casualties.
But now, Hawaii Marines and Sailors from the 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment are once again shipping out to the Middle East.
At Kaneohe Marine Corps Base Hawaii, many of the men preparing for their latest deployment have seen the worst of the War on Terror. Fighting in Fallujah as well as attacks in Afghanistan. "24/7, you constantly had to watch your back and be alert there's always that chance that something could happen." says Hawaii Based Marine, Jack Hunter.
While many also go with the knowledge of what to expect, they also carry with them, the knowledge of just how dangerous this mission can be.
The last time in Iraq, 34 members of their Battalion did not return alive.
A fact many think about as they prepare for their next deployment. " I think about it everyday. I just want to get over there and do what we gotta do and get home. Have everybody get home safe and in one piece." says Hawaii Based Marine, Bryan Vega.
So in their final carefree moments, these battle hardened Marines share a laugh with friends, chat on cell phones or give those they love a last kiss. Because while they are holding on to their ideals for serving their country and putting themselves in harms way, they also want to hold on to that connection with family and friends.