Cpl. Garry Welch, combat correspondent deployed with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, reads a digital copy of a letter sent to him by Wataru Kikuta, a Japanese boy he met during Operation Tomodachi exactly one year ago.  After the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster wreaked havoc in Northeastern Japan, the 31st MEU was dispatched to Oshima Island, in the Kessenuma City area, where Welch helped Wataru in clearing the debris of what was once his house. Wataru contacted Welch through a reporter after he saw a one-year-later documentary about the disaster in which Welch was interviewed.  The 31st MEU has responded to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations five times in the last four years.  The 31st MEU is the only continually forward deployed MEU and is the U.S.’s force in readiness in the Asia-Pacific region.
120312-M-0000W-000.jpg Photo By: Cpl. Jonathan G. Wright

Mar 12, 2012
Cpl. Garry Welch, combat correspondent deployed with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, reads a digital copy of a letter sent to him by Wataru Kikuta, a Japanese boy he met during Operation Tomodachi exactly one year ago. After the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster wreaked havoc in Northeastern Japan, the 31st MEU was dispatched to Oshima Island, in the Kessenuma City area, where Welch helped Wataru in clearing the debris of what was once his house. Wataru contacted Welch through a reporter after he saw a one-year-later documentary about the disaster in which Welch was interviewed. The 31st MEU has responded to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations five times in the last four years. The 31st MEU is the only continually forward deployed MEU and is the U.S.’s force in readiness in the Asia-Pacific region.


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