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Camp Lejeune Marines Prepare To Ship Out Overseas

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CAMP LEJEUNE — Hundreds of Camp Lejeune Marines loaded three ships Thursday that will head to the Mediterranean Sea as part of a scheduled deployment.

The Marines and sailors, part of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, are to relieve the Lejeune-based 24th MEU, which has been in the Mediterranean for six months. The trip was scheduled before terrorists last week hijacked planes that crashed in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania.

"I'm nervous in both ways. What happened in the world, I'm not thinking about that right now. I'm thinking about my training and whatever comes up and try to stay focused on what I have got to do and what they tell me to do," says Cpl. Danny Diaz.

"There is an adrenalin flow for all of us. We wouldn't be Americans, Marines or sailors if there wasn't some adrenalin flow, but we are professionals and we will approach this problem from a professional aspect," says commanding officer Cpl. Andrew Frick.

The 26th MEU usually would have specific exercises planned to keep troops sharp, but the response to the attacks may change that. In addition to the troops, the ships of the MEU also carry helicopters and Harrier jets.

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