News: 2/5 returns home from 31st MEU
Story by Lance Cpl. Glen Santy
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – Marines with Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, returned home from a six-month deployment with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, June 3.
Approximately 60 Marines and sailors returned home, during this wave, from the deployment. The unit’s primary mission was to be a maritime readiness force with amphibious-raid capabilities on the 31st MEU.
“It feels very good to be home,” said Sgt. Blake Brassfield, a platoon sergeant with Fox Co. 2/5. “It’s been a really emotional deployment as far as it goes with the family. This is the first long period of time I’ve been away from the girls.”
“We missed you really, really much daddy!” said Brassfield’s daughter, 5-year-old Allison.
Students from St. John’s Episcopal School, in Rancho Santa Margarita, were also in attendance during the celebration. The students were present to support operation Help-a-Hero, a charity foundation that welcomes home units from Camp Pendleton returning from deployments.
“It’s cool seeing the Marines and sailors,” said students from St. John’s Episcopal School. “This is our second time coming here. It’s really exciting.”
The organization brings bags of toiletries, gift cards and assists the Marines and sailors for the preparation of their rooms as a part of a welcome home gift.
“They work on it all year,” said Monica Barnum, the assistant principle of St. Johns. “We’ll bring the students down and they’ll help clean and decorate the rooms. We’ve had this program going for almost five years now.”
One Marine coming home held his new born daughter for the first time, however it was not the first time seeing her. Lance Cpl. Douglas Bennett, a rifleman with Fox Co., 2/5, witnessed the birth of young Rileigh via Skype.
“It’s great to be home,” Bennett said. “Holding my daughter for the first time feels amazing.”