MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – A crowd of family members holding welcome home signs and waving American flags wait patiently for their loved ones to return home after a three-month deployment to Afghanistan.
The families begin to cheer as they hear the sounds of motorcycles revving their engines in the distance as the long awaited reunion with their loved ones grows near.
The Marines and sailors of 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment returned home after a three-month deployment from Afghanistan to their families at the Camp Horno parade field, Sept. 29.
While in Afghanistan, 1st Bn., 1st Marines performed counterinsurgency operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan and transitioned into a more supportive role allowing the Afghan National Army to lead operations.
There are Marines of 1st Bn., 1st Marines still deployed in Afghanistan who will be returning home in early 2013.
“Our Marines completed their mission even through they were spread out over a wide area,” said Sgt. Maj. Jonathan Henry, sergeant major for the battalion. “I am proud of the Marines.”
Many of the families already had plans for loved ones arriving home. Two little girls held up a sign that read “Hurry up daddy, so we can go to Sea World.”
Monica Posey, the wife of Sgt. Christopher Posey, had something different in mind.
The first thing she did when she saw her husband was give him a big hug and kiss, then she took him home so he could cook his signature meal, steak and mash potatoes.
“She loves it when I cook,” said Sgt. Christopher Posey, a field radio operator with 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment. “That may be why she is still with me.”
Posey, a 24 year-old native of Pacific Grove, Calif., said he was ready to spend time with his family, even if it meant he had to cook dinner tonight.
Posey added the deployment was short, but it was difficult at times.
“We went on a lot of patrols in my area of operations,” said Posey. “I could tell we were making a difference by how the Afghan locals acted when they saw us. Some of the Marines became close friends with them and the ANA.”
Posey said he is going to miss his friends with the ANA.
“I remember getting back from a patrol once, and they invited us over for diner that they prepared,” said Posey. “It let me know they saw us as brothers.”
Posey added he has faith that the ANA are going to do fine in their new role, but it’s time for him to enjoy dinner with his family.
“I don’t get a break,” said Posey as he laughed. “Now it’s time for me to cook for someone else.”
Whether the Marines are taking their families to amusement parks or just enjoying dinner with each other, they are happy to be with their loved ones again.