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Artesia Marine prepares for another tour into hostile territory

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Cpl. Jose Herrera is in training now for his next assignment, which will take him back into hostile territory in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. (Submitted photo)

Daily Press Staff Writer

When Cpl. Jose Herrera decided to extend his enlistment in the Marine Corps, he did it to honor a fallen brother.

Herrera, an Artesia High School Class of 2006 graduate and former Bulldog football player, has already seen much in the way of war — serving tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as a helicopter insertion operation in Vietnam in May 2009.

When he returned to the United States for the second time, in Nov. 2009, Herrera was nearing the end of his contract with the military. Instead of serving out his remaining 10 months, however, he put in for a 10-month extension to serve another tour.

“In January, I will be deploying to Helmand Province (Afghanistan),” he said on the phone from his base at Camp Lejeune (N.C.). “The Marine Corps has upped its numbers; there are not many combat veterans. The new guys need someone to train them here and deploy with them, so that when they come back they can teach the other Marines that come in.

“There is also some unfinished business.”

When Herrera said he had unfinished business, he was referring to a particular incident that occurred while he was overseas. … For the rest of the story, subscribe in print and on the web.

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