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Alta Marine helps intercept Arabian sea vessel carrying 2,800 pounds of drugs

Thursday, February 26, 2004

Kevin and Lana Huss pray everyday for their son's safety and prompt return.

Jason is a sergeant in the United States Marine Corps, assigned to the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU).

The Alta couple is unaware of Jason's whereabouts only that he is overseas. The last they knew he was in Guam. It is difficult, Lana said, to not know but she respects the fact that her son must abide by the "classified information" he has been sworn to.

Lana and Kevin recently were informed that their son participated in the seizure of an estimated 2,800 pounds of hashish with an estimated value of $11 million, after intercepting a small Arabian sea vessel in the North Arabian Sea.

His unit is an expeditionary intervention force with the ability to rapidly organize for combat operations in virtually any environment. MEUs are composed of more than 2,000 personnel and are divided into an infantry battalion, aircraft squadron, support group and command element. With this combination, Jason's unit supplies and sustains itself for quick mission accomplishment and for clearing the way for follow-on forces.

These interceptions, the couple was informed, are designed to hinder the funding of terrorist organizations by denying the use of the seas for the smuggling of illegal contraband. This is the third such interception by coalition maritime forces in recent weeks.

Jason joined the Marine Corp right after graduating from the Alta High School in 1996. "I was supportive of him," Lana said, "but it was hard to see him leave. It made him grow up real fast." She added that the Marine Corp has been good for her son. And he must enjoy being part of the military - he recently reenlisted.

Jason's unit, homebased in Camp Pendleton, CA, was deployed in August. "It was scary to have him go overseas," Lana commented, adding she doesn't think about him not making it home safely. "We said 'good bye and see ya later.' He's always in our prayers." They haven't had much contact with Jason over the past six months. "But we figure that no news is good news."

Jason's wife Carey and their daughter Brooke reside at Camp Pendleton located in San Diego, CA.

He and his unit are expected to be back in the states March 8.

"We're all proud of Jason," Lana concluded.

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