Operation Homecoming reunites Marines, Sailors with families

II Marine Expeditionary Force
Story by Pfc. Victor A. Arriaga

Date: 08.05.2013
Posted: 08.08.2013 10:08
News ID: 111569
Operation Homecoming reunites Marines, Sailors with families

CHERRY POINT, N.C. - More than 70 Marines and one Sailor with Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252 returned to Cherry Point after a seven-month deployment to southwestern Afghanistan Monday. <br /> <br /> While deployed, the squadron provided assault support, aerial refueling and transport of cargo and personnel in support of NATO International Security Assistance Forces overseas contingency operations. <br /> <br /> “The mission of VMGR-252 was successful,” said Maj. Mark Montgomery, the aircraft maintenance officer for the squadron. “The Marines succeeded, worked hard and kept their readiness up. I think everybody got what they needed.” <br /> <br /> Family members filled the squadron’s hangar and patiently watched the sky for the planes that would be carrying their loved ones. <br /> “I’m so excited I think I am going to throw up,” said Krysten Pryor, who traveled from Kentucky with her daughter and in-laws to greet her husband, Cpl. Jason Pryor, a powerline mechanic with VMGR-252. “I’m jittery and I can’t even think straight.”<br /> <br /> When the planes landed, service members were greeted by ecstatic loved ones who raced out to the flight line to meet them. <br /> <br /> “I’m glad to see my family again because this is one of many deployments for us,” said Gunnery Sgt. Brian Cook, the ordnance chief for VMGR-252. “When my daughter ran up to me yelling ‘daddy,’ I welled up with pride.”<br /> <br /> For one mother, seeing her daughter return from her deployment was too much to handle. <br /> <br /> “My baby girl came home,” said Hilda Turman, fighting back tears,. “As soon as I saw the plane, it was overwhelming. You can’t even describe the feeling you get when you know your kids are home safe.”<br /> <br /> Turman’s daughter, Petty Officer Third Class Jocelyn Schrecker, a hospital corpsman with the squadron, was on her first deployment and was the only Sailor to deploy with VMGR-252. <br /> <br /> “It’s amazing,” said Schrecker. “It’s always going to be an emotional reunion with my mom.”