To protect diners at Ramadi from the mortars, the Seabees are finishing a fortified dining hall with earth and concrete walls and heavy wood beams supporting the earthen roof. For Chief Petty Officer Michael Romero, a steelworker, the project is personal. A 2004 attack on a U.S. dining facility in Mosul killed his friend Seabee Joel Baldwin.
In coming weeks, the scattered Seabees will converge on Al Taqaddum to work on the runway. In March, they will return to the United States, many to homes damaged by Hurricane Katrina.
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