U.S. Marine Alex Cornell du Houx '06 leaves Bowdoin on Monday to train in Fort Devons, Massachusetts, in preparation for his upcoming deployment to Iraq. He will be training for "desert and urban combat" at Fort Devons for the next 20 days.

After training, Cornell du Houx will return to Solon, Maine, to spend Christmas with his family. He will then spend two months in California at Twenty-Nine Palms and Camp Pendleton. Following his training session in California, Cornell du Houx will spend seven months on the ground in Iraq.

There, he will work with weapons and machinery.

"My job is 0351 Assault, so I'll be shooting rockets and dealing with explosives," he said.

He will most likely be leaving for Iraq at the end of February or the beginning of March.

"It could be on my birthday," he noted, which is March 6.

Cornell du Houx does not yet know where he will be in Iraq.

"That's the number one question," he said.

Oliver Radwan '08 will replace Cornell du Houx as co-president of the Bowdoin College Democrats.

"I will miss his friendship and the leadership example he has always provided for the Dems," Radwan said.

"With him leaving, I'm stepping into some big shoes, but we will do our best to keep everything up to the high standards developed by Alex."

Although Edward Little Professor of the English Language and Literature William Watterson did not know him personally and never taught him, at a reception honoring Cornell du Houx on Monday night, Watterson gave him a Roman war ring from World War II to take with him to Iraq.

In his last days at Bowdoin, Cornell du Houx reflected on the caring and supportive community he is leaving behind.

"Bowdoin College is a wonderful place and I'll miss the people at Bowdoin the most," he said.

"When he's gone he will stay in touch with Bowdoin. We're all hoping he'll take care of himself over there," Radwan said.

Cornell du Houx will be keeping an online blog to inform the Bowdoin community of his work overseas, a link to which is available from Radwan.

Cornell du Houx's interview with NBC will air on "Nightly News" at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 3.