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A soldiers view

Sgt. 1st Class Paul Kerr Hometown: Kenai

Posted: Monday, October 08, 2007

Editor's note: Periodically the Clarion has printed biographies and notes from soldiers stationed in northern Kuwait with the 3rd Battalion, Alaska Army National Guard.

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  Above, as a convoy races by, Sgt. 1st Class Paul Kerr of Kenai stands beside two Alaska Army National Guard Humvees in southern Iraq. Kerr is a member of the 3rd Battalion, 297th Infantry, Alaska Army National Guard. The battalion is stationed in Kuwait but helps protect convoys in southern Iraq. Below, Kerr sits outside his barracks. Submitted photos

This is the last in the series, as the unit is scheduled to return Kenai on Nov. 10.

 

As a convoy races by, Sgt. 1st Class Paul Kerr of Kenai stands beside two Alaska Army National Guard Humvees in southern Iraq. Kerr is a member of the 3rd Battalion, 297th Infantry, Alaska Army National Guard. The battalion is stationed in Kuwait but helps protect convoys in southern Iraq.

Submitted photos

During a recent ceremony on the Iraq-Kuwait border, Sgt. 1st Class Paul Kerr extended his enlistment in the Alaska Army National Guard by six years. Kerr is stationed in northern Kuwait with the 3rd Battalion, 297th Infantry.

The battalion is responsible for security in northern Kuwait and southern Iraq. Kerr is part of the largest mobilization of Alaskan Guard members since World War II.

 

Above, as a convoy races by, Sgt. 1st Class Paul Kerr of Kenai stands beside two Alaska Army National Guard Humvees in southern Iraq. Kerr is a member of the 3rd Battalion, 297th Infantry, Alaska Army National Guard. The battalion is stationed in Kuwait but helps protect convoys in southern Iraq. Below, Kerr sits outside his barracks.

Submitted photos

Kerr has spent the last six years as a recruiter in Kenai and Juneau. Generally, recruiters are exempt from deployment because their skills are needed at home. So when Kerr learned the 3rd Battalion was going to Iraq and Kuwai,t he volunteered.

"I volunteered because I wanted to show the soldiers I recruited that I could do what I am asking them to do, which is go to places like Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan. I'm proud to be in the National Guard and I am honored to represent the state of Alaska," he said.

A lifelong Alaskan, Kerr grew up in Fairbanks. He enlisted in the Alaska Army National Guard shortly after graduating from high school.

His guard career has taken him to many locations throughout the state, including Anchorage, Juneau and now Kenai, where he is the local recruiter. Kerr has a total of 20 years of service in the Guard with 16 of those years as a full-time Guardsmen.

When Kerr returns home in October he will have completed a 15-month deployment.

The unit is less than a week away from a flight back to Shelby Mississippi, where they will then demobilize and then head to Alaska.

Staff Sgt. Mac Metcalf is the public affairs noncommissioned officer stationed in northern Kuwait with the 3rd Battalion, Alaska Army National Guard.



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