Ken Takanori
E-4 Ken Takanori
American, Age 22
USN HM3 (Hospital Corpsman Third Class)

Ken Takanori had always wanted to go to medical school. Or rather, Ken's parents, fourth generation Japanese-Americans who owned and managed a successful sushi and teppan restaurant in Fresno, California, had always wanted him to go to medical school. A chronic underachiever, Ken barely got himself accepted into the California state university system, where he enrolled in a pharmacology program. As a college student, Ken thought that he could avoid military service. When the manpower-starved United States government ended the college draft deferment in late 1997, midway through his sophomore year, just when he'd started to unlock his full academic potential, Ken's selective service number was pulled and he was shipped off to the Navy to train as a Hospital Corpsman. He was assigned as a replacement to 2nd Marine Division as it reformed in Germany in early 1998.

As part of Task Force Inchon's G-Company, 2nd Battalion ("Warlords"), 2nd Marine Regiment ("Tarawa"), 2nd MarDiv, Ken took part in the ill-fated Operation Limerick, the seizure of Elblag, Poland during XI Corps' summer 2000 offensive. He escaped its encirclement and reduction and fled south with a handful of fellow survivors, hoping to make their way back to NATO lines. After nearly two months on the run, Ken was captured by the Red Army. His medical skills made him useful, and he was put to work by his captors in a field hospital. In this capacity, Ken eventually found himself in the Pomeranian city of Grudziaz.

Ken is a good Corpsman, highly regarded by the men and women he serves. For some reason that he can't quite fathom, he's been pegged by most of the officers and senior NCOs he's worked under as something of an underachiever. His friends call him Kentucky but he also answers to the ubiquitous hospital corpsman's honorific, "Doc".