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Oregon Marine gets `the chills' in San Diego.

Byline: MATT COOPER The Register-Guard

SPRINGFIELD - As Marine work goes, this was a cakewalk.

During the Padres baseball game Thursday in San Diego, Johan Winn, a 19-year-old Springfield High School graduate, helped present an American flag that had flown at Kandahar Airport in Afghanistan.

Pfc. Winn has been stationed at Camp Pendleton, near San Diego, for about two months, where he has distinguished himself with his drive and attitude. He operates a forklift to unload trucks, but that's not all - he recently volunteered for and completed cold-weather training, a two-week crash course in extreme conditions that cost him 22 pounds.

"They just said I was doing good, as one of the newer guys, they said I represent the battalion pretty well," Winn said Friday in a phone interview from San Diego. "I've been cooperative."

The payoff came Thursday. Winn was among the 20 or so Marines selected from camps along the West Coast to participate in a military-appreciation day at Qualcomm Stadium.

The flag had been signed by the families of victims in the World Trade Center attack, Winn said, and it was delivered to his group by a New York Police Department officer.

Winn and the other Marines carried the flag onto the field in front of the screaming masses, where Winn got a reaction similar to his cold-weather training.

"It gave me the chills," he said. "It was just a big honor to be able to carry that flag out. They were noisy, they were yelling. It was patriotic."
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Title Annotation:Government
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:May 4, 2002
Words:251
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