Photo By Cpl. Tommy Huynh | Staff Sgt. Hallie L. Crawford stands aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island Sept 9. Crawford serves as the chemical-, biological-, radiological- and nuclear-defense chief for the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit. The unit is underway for a second exercise at sea since becoming a complete Marine-air ground task force in May. The unit is scheduled to deploy this fall. Crawford, 29, is from Rusk, Texas. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Tommy Huynh)
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AT SEA - When Hallie Crawford awoke Sept. 11, 2001, her first thought was that her college roommates were playing a joke. However, as she came to after a late night studying, she soon realized the truth.
A few months later, a 19-year-old Crawford signed a four-year Marine Corps enlistment contract.
“I felt that it was necessary to give at least four years of service to my family and country after 9/11,” said Crawford, now a staff sergeant serving with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit.
“She’s always put 100 percent effort into anything she’s done,” said Forrest Crawford, her father. “I think she serves her country and the Marine Corps well and carries a prideful tradition. We are very proud of her.”
Ten years later, Crawford, having served a tour in Iraq, is now preparing for a Western Pacific deployment aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island as the unit’s chemical-, biological-, radiological- and nuclear-defense chief.
She said she is looking forward to it.
“This will be different from other deployments,” Crawford said. “As an MEU, we can take each aspect of the entire Marine Corps and complete any task anywhere in the world. That is awesome to me.”
On the events of 9/11, Crawford said, “I saw how Americans came together despite their political and religious views. I was fueled by that.
“In the years I’ve served, I’ve learned that you should never take anything for granted, and you should stand up for what you believe in. I’m going to stay in [the Corps] as long as I’m enjoying it. One day I’ll be able to look back and know I gave my all.”
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This work, Towers falling a call to arms for Rusk woman, by Sgt Elyssa Quesada, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.