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    1st LAR Marines return from Afghanistan in time for Memorial Day

    1st LAR Marines return from Afghanistan in time for Memorial Day

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Jacob Harrer | Beatriz Y. Orta, a military spouse from Long Beach, Calif., awaits the arrival of her...... read more read more



    Story by Cpl. Benjamin Crilly and Sgt. Jacob Harrer

    1st Marine Division

    MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – Five pink shirts. The family of Lance Cpl. Louis C. Orta was ready for him to return home, and they dressed in their own unique uniform for him: pink t-shirts with “welcome home” written on them.

    Orta, a point man and lead sweeper with 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, served for seven months in Helmand province, Afghanistan, and he arrived with his unit safely during a homecoming ceremony here, May 25.

    “Finally we can get our lives back on track, so just go back to school and return to our normal lives,” said Beatriz Y. Orta, Louis’s spouse.

    More than 200 Marines returned from the deployment, just in time to spend Memorial Day weekend with their loved ones.

    The cloudy skies and brisk winds rolling across the parade deck had no effect on the enthusiasm of relatives and friends waiting at Camp Las Flores.

    A light armored vehicle and members of the Patriot Guard escorted the buses as the crowd erupted in cheers.

    “I’m proud of them because they had an opportunity to go do the mission they were trained to perform,” said Lt. Col. George C. Schreffler, the 1st LAR Bn. commander. “They did it extremely well, and now they can come home and reap the rewards and be able to spend the time with people that they love.”

    First Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion deployed to Khan Neshin District last fall where they supported Operation Enduring Freedom. The Marines operated in Helmand province’s southernmost district in support of Regimental Combat Team 5. Their mobility allowed them to provide unique support by disrupting enemy’s command and control and logistical network over 70 kilometers along the Helmand River Valley.

    In addition to conducting traditional combat operations, the battalion developed the Afghan Uniformed Police, Afghan Border Police and Afghan National Army by partnering with them and training their Afghan counterparts. The security and stability achieved during their deployment enabled the development of local governance, expansion of education and the improved economic success of the people without relying on poppy farming.



    Date Taken: 05.25.2012
    Date Posted: 05.25.2012 22:31
    Story ID: 89032
    Location: CAMP PENDLETON, CA, US 
    Hometown: HOUSTON, TX, US
    Hometown: LONG BEACH, CA, US

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