11th MEU Logo
11th Marine Expeditionary Unit
I Marine Expeditionary Force

Jan 31, 2005

Marine Cpl. Cole R. Young, a 21-year-old infantryman from Steeleville, Ill., finds himself swarmed by Iraqi children in a market area in downtown Najaf, Iraq, during a patrol of the city the day after Iraq?s parliamentary elections. After weeks of training Iraqi Security Forces, the Marines of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) stood down their patrols for Sunday?s historic elections after the top Marine commander here determined the night before that the city was in good hands with local police and soldiers. According to various reports, nearly 85-percent of Najaf's 430,000 eligible voters visited the polls to cast their ballot. ?People were very excited about voting. I could not sleep the night before. I couldn?t wait to vote,? said Iraqi Police Officer Warrant Officer Jasem Mohammad, 38, displaying his purple ink-stained index finger. ?It?s the first time we have a democracy ? in all of Middle East.? For the 2,200 some Marines assigned to An Najaf and Karbala Provinces, Sunday?s elections served as the culminating event to nine months of hard work; a final ?mission completed? before they begin departing Iraq to return to their home base at Camp Pendleton, Calif.

No camera details available.


Read More

This photograph is considered public domain and has been cleared for release. If you would like to republish please give the photographer appropriate credit. Further, any commercial or non-commercial use of this photograph or any other DoD image must be made in compliance with guidance found at, which pertains to intellectual property restrictions (e.g., copyright and trademark, including the use of official emblems, insignia, names and slogans), warnings regarding use of images of identifiable personnel, appearance of endorsement, and related matters.

No camera details available.