MARINE CORP AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. - Family and friends crowded the gymnasium at the Cherry Point Tree House Saturday to welcome back more than 240 Marines with Marine Wing Support Squadron 274 from a seven-month deployment to Afghanistan.
“Daddy’s home,” “My hero is back,” read signs held by loved ones anxiously waiting at the gym entrance where their Marines would soon step through to a break of loud cheers.
“We wanted to create that kind of atmosphere,” said Jill H. Buria, the family readiness officer for MWSS-274. “It’s an important moment.”
Saturday’s homecoming followed the return of 150 other MWSS-274 Marines Friday.
MWSS-274 began deploying elements to Afghanistan in February 2010 to support the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward) with flight line and internal base operations at Camp Leatherneck, explained Gunnery Sgt. David M. Olson, motor transport operations chief with MWSS-274.
The squadron conducted several operations that included constructing new flight lines and training Afghan police.
“Camp Leatherneck grew a significant amount from the time we got there to when we left,” explained Staff Sgt. Anthony E. Brown, a military policeman with MWSS-274.
The Marines couldn’t have been happier to be back with their friends and loved ones.
“The longest part of the deployment was the flight home,” said Gunnery Sgt. Paul A. Wilcox, Engineer Company first sergeant with MWSS-274.
“We stayed pretty busy throughout,” Olson said. “So it helped the deployment go by pretty quick.”
The squadron felt it successfully accomplished its mission.
“We set the bar pretty high for the next Marine wing support squadron that deploys over there,” Olson said.
When asked what the best part of being home was, Brown said, “Getting out of these cammies. It’ll be nice to take some time off, but soon enough we’ll be back to work.”
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MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, NC, US
This work, MWSS-274 returns home, by SSgt Tyler J. Bolken, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.