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Lance Cpl. Joshua Slone, training noncommisioned officer, Headquarters and Service Co., 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, holds his son, Joseph, 3, one last time before departind with 1/7's advance party to Afghanistan Feb. 29, 2012.

Photo by Cpl. Andrew D. Thorburn

Gone Again

29 Feb 2012 | Lance Cpl. Ali Azimi

The Marines and sailors of 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment bid farewell to family and friends as they departed for a seven-month deployment to Afghanistan Feb. 29, 2012.

Marines were ready for this deployment thanks to all the training they received.

“You can’t be overly prepared, so we train as much as possible, because you never know what’s going to come,” said Staff Sgt. Rohan Smith, supply chief, Headquarters and Service Company.

Despite the tearful goodbyes, the morale of the departing Marines was high.

“Many of the Marines are looking forward to it because they will get to do what they have been training for the past year,” Smith said.

While the Marines, families and friends were sharing those last moments before the Marines stepped into the buses, Ruby Zunino, battalion family readiness officer, was snapping pictures and talking with the families.

“I want to help all the families keep in touch during this deployment,” Zunino said.

The battalion uses E-Marine to help Zunino accomplish this. Families can register with 1/7’s E-Marine site at to get updates on the deployment, access photos and other unit news.

For information on sending care packages and family activities, contact Zunino at 830-3768.

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