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    1/2 returns from Afghanistan

    Marines, sailors embrace loved ones during 1st Bn., 2nd Marines' homecoming

    Photo By Cpl. Krista James | First Sgt. Carlos Aguilera, first sergeant for Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd...... read more read more



    Story by Lance Cpl. Krista James 

    II Marine Expeditionary Force   

    CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - A crowd of more than 300 friends and family members cheered as Marines and sailors with 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment returned to Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Oct. 9 following a six-month deployment to Afghanistan.

    More than 100 service members within the battalion returned Thursday evening, with the remainder of the unit scheduled to return in waves by Thanksgiving. The battalion is the last Marine Corps ground unit serving in Afghanistan and their return signifies the end to the war in Afghanistan.

    “I joined the Marine Corps to go to Afghanistan and now I finally got to do it,” said Cpl. Deven Salo, a team leader with the unit. “I’ve been in for four years and this is my first deployment to Afghanistan so it was a huge accomplishment for me.”

    Salo said that sharing his first deployment to Afghanistan, which happened to be the last in the region, with his leaders who were in-country when the war began made the experience even more significant to him.

    “It’s awesome to know that I went over there when I was a young Marine as part of the invasion in 2001,” said 1st Sgt. Carlos Aguilera, first sergeant for Charlie Company. “I was there first and I got the chance to go there last. So it’s almost like closure for myself and for the Marine Corps.”

    Salo said while serving in Afghanistan, the unit conducted counterinsurgency operations and assisted the Afghan National Army in providing security to the region.

    Aguilera said the Marines were the last company to control outlying patrol bases and were conducting local security patrols each day in an effort to protect Camps Leatherneck and Bastion.

    Both Aguilera and Salo agreed that Marines, although they have successfully completed their mission in Afghanistan, will remain focused and prepare to fight for the unit’s next mission.

    “We will continue to prepare for future deployments or unit deployment programs that will train our Marines for wherever the Marine Corps plans to call us to next,” said Aguilera.



    Date Taken: 10.10.2014
    Date Posted: 10.10.2014 11:50
    Story ID: 144860
    Location: CAMP LEJEUNE, NC, US 

    Web Views: 550
    Downloads: 3