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"There was not a minute when I was afraid. I revert back to training. And I know that everything is in God's hands." (Video Interview, 18:38)

   Raffi Armen Bahadarian
Image of Raffi Armen Bahadarian
Raffi Bahadarian.
War: Afghanistan and Iraq Wars, 2001-present
Branch: Marine Corps
Unit: WPNS Company, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division
Service Location: Kuwait; Iraq
Rank: Sergeant
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His parents brought him from Lebanon to America to escape the horrors of war, but young Raffi Bahadarian grew to love his new country so much he was willing to serve in its armed forces and return to the Middle East to fight in another war. He signed up with the Marine Corps Reserves and was called up to fight in Operation Iraqi Freedom, joining the First Marine Division to be among the first U.S. soldiers into Baghdad.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (6 clips)
»Complete Interview   (37 min.)
  Photos
»Photo Album (13 photos)
 Other Materials
»Note book of Raffi Bahadarian
More like this
»Forever a Soldier
 Video (Interview Excerpts) (6 items)
How he joined the Marines; getting called up to serve in Iraq. (02:14) Their route to Baghdad; taking issue with media coverage of Iraqi civilians' reaction to the war. (02:46) His reasons for joining the Marines; their history in Lebanon. (00:55)
Working out front of supply or communications lines; staying in touch with home and his fiancee. (01:41) Dealing with stress; the camaraderie of an all-male unit. (03:41) Lessons from his experience: appreciating intangibles, relying on his faith for a foundation; the importance of serving others. (03:58)
  
 
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  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
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