Lyndhurst Lawmaker Heading Back to Iraq with Marines

CLEVELAND (AP) - A state lawmaker from northeast Ohio is heading back to Iraq with the Marine Corps.

State Rep. Josh Mandel, 29, a Republican from suburban Lyndhurst, volunteered for a second tour of duty in Iraq, where he served in 2004 before his election to the Legislature.

Mandel expects to get six weeks of training in the U.S. before returning to Iraq this fall for an eight-month tour as an intelligence officer.

Mandel, who intends to seek re-election in 2008, will keep his legislative seat while he serves in Iraq.

"I didn't join the Marine Corps to say no when the Marine Corps needed Marines in my field," Mandel said Thursday.

He said he isn't sure exactly what unit he will be stationed with in Iraq.

"I'll be an intelligence specialist conducting intel operations attached to a Marine infantry battalion," he said.