KENNEWICK, Wash. -- A Richland High graduate is getting ready to go to Iraq.
Lance Corporal Derek Sohler says he is very proud to be a part of the Marine Corps. In the first week of February, Sohler will be on his way to the Al Anbar Province of Iraq, which is in the western part of the country.
Thursday night, family and friends honored him with flags, songs, and lots of hugs. After joining the Marines in October of 2006, Sohler says he spent time in San Diego and Oklahoma training.
Sohler says he comes from a military family and they are behind him 100%. He says he joined the Marines in particular because he thought it was a good fit.
Sohler says, "I joined the Marines because their the best. I knew I was going to go overseas, everything like that, because my whole familys been in the military but, I thought the Marines were the best for me."
Sohler says his unit operates howitzer cannons, which fire large shells and help protect the infantry. He says while he is a little scared, he is mostly just excited about the opportunity.