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Nine years after invasion, Marines heading to Afghanistan

Hundreds of Marines shipped out from Camp Pendleton were en route to war fronts in Afghanistan Sunday, nearly nine years after the U.S. invasion.

Jerry Germenis, 22, a computer specialist and Marine lance corporal

among the several hundred Marines headed for Camp Leatherneck in Helmand Province, told the Los Angeles Times he was too young to enlist in the wake of Sept. 11. 2001, terrorist attacks.

“I remember being shocked and then full of regret that I was too young

to enlist,” he said.

Germenis enlisted after two years in college.

Many of those deployed Saturday have been in war zones before.

Gunnery Sgt. Jeremy Alexander, 30, is on his sixth deployement, althoughthe first since the birth a month ago of his son, Chase, The Times reported.

Cpl. Kelly Burgess, 20, is making her first trip to Afghanistan. The

supply clerk is leaving her 6-month-old son, Dominik, in the care of her husband, Jon Burgess, 21, who just returned from Afghanistan.

‘I’m as ready as you can be,” Burgess told the newspaper.

Cpl. Adam Miller, 20, is a tuba player in the 1st Marine Division band.

But in Afghanistan, he’ll be a guard, shifting duties from musical to tactical.

“This is my new instrument,” said Miller, patting his M-16 rifle.