By Joyce Hensley

Staff writer

HERMISTON — A Umatilla Chemical Depot worker is heading to the Kuwaiti desert to help out with the U.S. war effort against Iraq.

John Janis, 66, left Sunday for Maryland, the first leg of a journey that will lead him to the war zone.

A toxic equipment inspector at the Umatilla Chemical Depot for 17 years, Janis' expertise with gas masks and suits worn by soldiers exposed to toxic materials may be put to use should Saddam Hussein release deadly chemicals.

"They called me in for my experience," said Janis, prior to his departure. "I had 72 hours to get ready."

(For the full story, please read the March 21, 2003, issue of the Hermiston Herald.)

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