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Monday, May 2, 2016

Young Marine on front lines in Iraq

Monday, April 7, 2003

Many 20-year-old women are right now concerned with a spring break tan, cramming for exams or lining up a part-time summer job.

A typical day for Andrea (Miska) Rollins, a native of Alta, is a bit more volatile. She is serving in Iraq with the Marine Corps, a three-year veteran entrusted with the job of trucking dangerous loads of ammunition and fuel to the front lines of the battle.

It's something of a family calling for Rollins. She is the granddaughter of Clint Hoferman, the local veterans officer, who served in the First Cavalry Division in Japan and Korea.

Andrea's brother Jason is also a Marine, and expects to be called to Iraq any day. Her new husband Nate, a Marine as well, will also soon ship out for the front.

Andrea holds four separate assignments, serving as a secretary to an important colonel, infantryman, transport driver and translator fluent in Arabic languages.

Hoferman said the family "cries every night" out of worry for his granddaughter, but that they are tremendously proud of her choice to serve.

"She called two nights ago. She had been sent back to Kuwait after some time near the front line, just long enough to get the luxury of taking a shower, then she went right back to the front," Hoferman said.

Her exact location and the details of the fighting are classified. "She said, 'I can't tell you anything except that I'm alright, I love you, and I hope this will all be over soon,'" he relayed.

Andrea plans to reenlist for another four years, and then complete her education, although the direction of the warfare could have an impact on her decisions.

Even under the stress of battle, the young Marine has kept her sense of humor, Hoferman said. "She wrote to me and said, 'Hey, Grandpa, you never told me that you don't get Sundays off during a war,'" he said.

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