Unit Banner could not be loaded.

 

II Marine Expeditionary Force

Readiness. Standards. Values.

Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Reunited: Homecoming first step towards reintegration

By Pfc. Sullivan Laramie | | February 08, 2013

Photos
prev
1 of 8
next
A Marine with Combat Logistics Battalion 2, 2nd Marine Logistics Group hugs members of his family during the unit’s homecoming celebration Feb. 1, 2013. Approximately 600 Marine and sailors with the battalion assisted NATO operations during nearly six months in Afghanistan.

A Marine with Combat Logistics Battalion 2, 2nd Marine Logistics Group hugs members of his family during the unit’s homecoming celebration Feb. 1, 2013. Approximately 600 Marine and sailors with the battalion assisted NATO operations during nearly six months in Afghanistan. (Photo by Pfc. Sullivan Laramie)


Photo Details | Download |

A Marine and his spouse reunite during a homecoming celebration aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Feb. 1, 2013. Hundreds of families and friends attended the event, which was the second of three waves of returning servicemembers to return to Camp Lejeune.

A Marine and his spouse reunite during a homecoming celebration aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Feb. 1, 2013. Hundreds of families and friends attended the event, which was the second of three waves of returning servicemembers to return to Camp Lejeune. (Photo by Pfc. Sullivan Laramie)


Photo Details | Download |

A Marine greets loved ones during a homecoming celebration for the servicemembers with Combat Logistics Battalion 2, 2nd Marine Logistics Group aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Feb. 1, 2013. Approximately 290 servicemembers returned in the second of three waves of Marines and sailors returning to the base.

A Marine greets loved ones during a homecoming celebration for the servicemembers with Combat Logistics Battalion 2, 2nd Marine Logistics Group aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Feb. 1, 2013. Approximately 290 servicemembers returned in the second of three waves of Marines and sailors returning to the base. (Photo by Pfc. Sullivan Laramie)


Photo Details | Download |

Brig. Gen. Edward D. Banta, the 2nd Marine Logistics Group commanding general, points out the direction of buses loaded with returning servicemembers during Combat Logistics Battalion 2, 2nd MLG’s homecoming celebration aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Feb. 1, 2013. Banta joined the throngs of families and friends who gathered to greet the servicemembers in front of the unit’s barracks early in the morning.

Brig. Gen. Edward D. Banta, the 2nd Marine Logistics Group commanding general, points out the direction of buses loaded with returning servicemembers during Combat Logistics Battalion 2, 2nd MLG’s homecoming celebration aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Feb. 1, 2013. Banta joined the throngs of families and friends who gathered to greet the servicemembers in front of the unit’s barracks early in the morning. (Photo by Pfc. Sullivan Laramie)


Photo Details | Download |

A Marine and his spouse reunite during Combat Logistics Battalion 2, 2nd Marine Logistics Group’s homecoming celebration aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Feb. 1, 2013. Approximately 290 Marines and sailors from the unit arrived on the base in the second wave of returning servicemembers after the battalion’s deployment to Afghanistan.

A Marine and his spouse reunite during Combat Logistics Battalion 2, 2nd Marine Logistics Group’s homecoming celebration aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Feb. 1, 2013. Approximately 290 Marines and sailors from the unit arrived on the base in the second wave of returning servicemembers after the battalion’s deployment to Afghanistan. (Photo by Pfc. Sullivan Laramie)


Photo Details | Download |

A Marine with Combat Logistics Battalion 2, 2nd Marine Logistics Group wraps his arms around a family member shortly after exiting his bus aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Feb. 1, 2013. Crowds of families and friends greeted the servicemembers as six buses unloaded approximately 290 personnel returning from their deployment to Afghanistan.

A Marine with Combat Logistics Battalion 2, 2nd Marine Logistics Group wraps his arms around a family member shortly after exiting his bus aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Feb. 1, 2013. Crowds of families and friends greeted the servicemembers as six buses unloaded approximately 290 personnel returning from their deployment to Afghanistan. (Photo by Pfc. Sullivan Laramie)


Photo Details | Download |

A Marine with Combat Logistics Battalion 2, 2nd Marine Logistics Group pinches the cheek of his child after returning from a nearly six-month deployment to Afghanistan to Camp Lejeune, N.C., Jan. 20, 2012. The unit set out for Helmand Province, Afghanistan, in July 2012 to perform logistical operations, assist NATO efforts to train Afghan National Security Forces, and demilitarize old military installations in the country.

A Marine with Combat Logistics Battalion 2, 2nd Marine Logistics Group pinches the cheek of his child after returning from a nearly six-month deployment to Afghanistan to Camp Lejeune, N.C., Jan. 20, 2012. The unit set out for Helmand Province, Afghanistan, in July 2012 to perform logistical operations, assist NATO efforts to train Afghan National Security Forces, and demilitarize old military installations in the country. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Devin Nichols)


Photo Details | Download |

A Marine with Combat Logistics Battalion 2, 2nd Marine Logistics Group greets his family after returning from the unit’s deployment to Afghanistan during a homecoming celebration aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Jan. 20, 2013. The unit spent approximately six months performing logistics operations in Afghanistan, and numerous members of 2nd MLG’s senior leadership showed up early in the morning to welcome the troops home.

A Marine with Combat Logistics Battalion 2, 2nd Marine Logistics Group greets his family after returning from the unit’s deployment to Afghanistan during a homecoming celebration aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Jan. 20, 2013. The unit spent approximately six months performing logistics operations in Afghanistan, and numerous members of 2nd MLG’s senior leadership showed up early in the morning to welcome the troops home. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Devin Nichols)


Photo Details | Download |

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- They lined the dimly-lit street and fought off the bitter winter cold. After months apart, the families and friends of Combat Logistics Battalion 2, 2nd Marine Logistics Group clung to “Welcome Home” signs and a single thought: reunion.

“I love him,” said Patricia Scruggs of Roanoke, Va., as she waited for her grandson, Sgt. Douglas Leonard.

“I just worried about him,” she said, her voice strained by nerves and the biting chill that blew through the area. “I’ve been so excited. I couldn’t sit down for the last hour.”

Word spread that the servicemembers were close. The buses turned the corner, horns blared and a surge went through the crowd.

Two hundred and ninety of the battalion’s nearly 600 deployed Marines and sailors stepped out of the vehicles and into a sea of waving arms Feb. 1. Their nearly six-month mission to support logistical operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan, was finally over.

“I tried not to think about it,” said Susan Lech of Oxford, Pa., as she waited for her husband, Sgt. John Lech. “I didn’t read any of the news stories just to keep my mind off of what was going on.”

Three waves of Marines and sailors returned to Camp Lejeune over the course of several weeks. Each group rolled onto the base in the quiet, predawn hours. The minutes ticked agonizingly by as the distance from their families slowly shrank.

“Forget the knight in shining armor,” read one sign as it waved over the mass of people. “Give me my Marine in dirty cammies.”

Dirty didn’t matter.

The peculiar odor left from their work in the field still clung to the servicemembers’ uniforms as they hugged their parents, spouses, children and friends. Afghanistan was behind them, but the unit now had a new mission to accomplish: reintegrate with their families and community.

“The [Marines and sailors] performed magnificently in Afghanistan,” said Maj. Jospeh C. Novario, the battalion’s executive officer. “I was impressed, and I think the leadership as a whole was impressed by the individual Marine’s effort, ability to focus, and perform the mission.”

The new challenge is to reintegrate the servicemembers, added Novario, a DuBois, Pa., native, as he went through the unit’s post-deployment training the week after their return.

Only a few days after their happy reunion with families and friends, the servicemembers set to work preparing their training schedules, completing medical appointments, and attending classes on alcohol, safety and family issues.

“It’s about making the right choices now,” said Novario. “The focus, effort and mission accomplishment they had in combat has to carry into the garrison environment. The same things that made them successful [in Afghanistan] will make them successful here.”

The troops spent half of a year undertaking engineering and resupply operations, completing NATO missions to train Afghan National Security Forces, and demilitarizing old installations in the country.

It is now time to reset and decompress, said Novario. The battalion’s post-deployment activities will help the Marines and sailors readjust to their lives in the states and reconnect with their families.


No Comments


Add Comment

(required)
  Post Comment