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Reunited: Homecoming First Step Towards Reintegration
A Marine and his spouse reunite during a homecoming celebration aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Feb. 1, 2013. Hundreds of families and friends attended the event, which was the second of three waves of returning servicemembers to return to Camp Lejeune.
PFC Sullivan Laramie
A Marine with CLB-2, 2d MLG, hugs members of his family during the unit's homecoming celebration Feb. 1, 2013.
PFC Sullivan Laramie
A Marine and his spouse reunite during CLB-2, 2d MLG's homecoming celebration aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Feb. 1, 2013.
PFC Sullivan Laramie
A Marine with CLB-2, 2d MLG, pinches the cheek of his child after returning from a nearly six-month deployment to Afghanistan to Camp Lejeune, N.C., Jan. 20, 2012.
LCpl Devin Nichols
BGen Edward D. Banta, the 2d MLG commanding general, points out the direction of buses loaded with returning servicemembers during CLB-2, 2d MLG's homecoming celebration aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Feb. 1, 2013. Banta joined the throngs of families and friends who gathered to greet the servicemembers in front of the unit's barracks early in the morning.
PFC Sullivan Laramie
By Cpl Paul Peterson
Feb. 2, 2013
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - They lined the dimly-lit street and fought off the bitter winter cold. After months apart, the families and friends of Combat Logistics Battalion 2, 2d Marine Logistics Group clung to “Welcome Home” signs and a single thought: reunion.
“I love him,” said Patricia Scruggs of Roanoke, Va., as she waited for her grandson, Sgt Douglas Leonard.
“I just worried about him,” she said, her voice strained by nerves and the biting chill that blew through the area. “I’ve been so excited. I couldn’t sit down for the last hour.”
Word spread that the servicemembers were close. The buses turned the corner, horns blared and a surge went through the crowd.
Two hundred and ninety of the battalion’s nearly 600 deployed Marines and sailors stepped out of the vehicles and into a sea of waving arms, Feb. 1, 2013. Their nearly six-month mission to support logistical operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan, was finally over.
“I tried not to think about it,” said Susan Lech of Oxford, Pa., as she waited for her husband, Sgt John Lech. “I didn’t read any of the news stories just to keep my mind off of what was going on.”
Three waves of Marines and sailors returned to Camp Lejeune over the course of several weeks. Each group rolled onto the base in the quiet, predawn hours. The minutes ticked agonizingly by as the distance from their families slowly shrank.
“Forget the knight in shining armor,” read one sign as it waved over the mass of people. “Give me my Marine in dirty cammies.”
Dirty didn’t matter.
The peculiar odor left from their work in the field still clung to the servicemembers’ uniforms as they hugged their parents, spouses, children and friends. Afghanistan was behind them, but the unit now had a new mission to accomplish: reintegrate with their families and community.
“The [Marines and sailors] performed magnificently in Afghanistan,” said Maj Jospeh C. Novario, the battalion’s executive officer. “I was impressed, and I think the leadership as a whole was impressed by the individual Marine’s effort, ability to focus, and perform the mission.”
The new challenge is to reintegrate the servicemembers, added Novario, a DuBois, Pa., native, as he went through the unit’s post-deployment training the week after their return.
Only a few days after their happy reunion with families and friends, the servicemembers set to work preparing their training schedules, completing medical appointments, and attending classes on alcohol, safety and family issues.
“It’s about making the right choices now,” said Novario. “The focus, effort and mission accomplishment they had in combat has to carry into the garrison environment. The same things that made them successful [in Afghanistan] will make them successful here.”
The troops spent half of a year undertaking engineering and resupply operations, completing NATO missions to train Afghan National Security Forces, and demilitarizing old installations in the country.
It is now time to reset and decompress, said Novario. The battalion’s post-deployment activities will help the Marines and sailors readjust to their lives in the states and reconnect with their families.
- SecDef Gates Visits 3/5 Marines In Afghanistan (Photo Gallery)
- Javelin Thrust 2012: Large Scale Exercise-1 Tests 1st MEB’s Crisis Response Force Capabilities (Article)
- Victory in Afghanistan: Supporting the Afghan Peace and Reintegration Program (Article)
- Fallen of 2d Battalion Fourth Marines to Receive Permanent Honor in Semper Fidelis Memorial Park (Event)
- No Prisoners: Marines Train To Retake Facility From Terrorists (Photo Gallery)
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Today in USMC History
1928 - Marines participated in the Battle of Cuje during the occupation of Nicaragua.
Related Article: Lessons From Yesterday's Operations Short Of War: Nicaragua And The Small Wars Manual By LtCol Richard J. Macak Jr. Marine Corps Gazette (Nov 1996)
Historic Leatherneck Magazine Covers
Leatherneck Staff Artist, Technical Sergeant Robert Fleischauer, felt that our July cover should be commemorative of the Fourth of July. Since the members of the missile units are probably the Corps' best rocketeers, he picked them to perform a standard Fourth of July action. Whether or not the "Honest Johnny" is useful as a combat piece is a matter for debate, but you can't beat it for morale." [July 1957.]
“The Join Up on the Nick” by Major Alex Durr, USMCR, a member of the History Division, Marine Corps University, Quantico, Va.
Hospitalman Daniel T. Bobic, assigned to Headquarters and Service Company, 3d Battalion, Second Marine Regiment, rappelled at the Jungle Warfare Training Center in Okinawa, Japan, in late April, 2002.
The oldest post of the Marine Corps, Washington, DC, is celebrating 200 years of excellence. Posed near the Barracks main gate were members of the official Color Guard of the United States Marine Corps (left to right): LCpl Joseph N. Keough, rifleman; Sgt Blake L. Richardson, Color Sergeant of the Marine Corps; Cpl Gerardo A. Guajardo, organizational color bearer; and LCpl Gregory A. Serwo, rifleman.
GySgt Verlando Frazier, East Coast Food Service Management Team, looked ready to dig into some of the new items included in MREs.
This photo by Sgt Earnie Grafton of Marines from Fox Co., 2/4 shows varied emotions as they greeted the coalition forces outside Kuwait city.
A fleet of trucks was needed to transport Dr. Felix de Weldon’s original model of the Iwo Jima flag-raising statue from the sculptor’s home in Newport, R.I., to the grounds of the Marine Military Academy at Harlingen, Texas. After the statue’s arrival, a nearly around-the-clock effort by skilled workmen was required in order to have the memorial reassembled and ready for dedication ceremonies on April 16, 1982.
In April this year (1981), two squadrons of AV-8A “Harriers” sailed for the Mediterranean aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Nassau. Purpose of the cruise was to demonstrate the Navy/Marine Corps team’s capability to augment naval forces in any area of the World on short notice and to provide at-sea training for Marine Harrier pilots.
The cover of Leatherneck’s Bicentennial issue is an oil painting by the late Colonel Donald L. Dickson, USMCR. The painting depicts General George Washington’s Colonial troops at Gadsby’s Tavern in Alexandria, Va., during the French and Indian War.
Sightseeing tours for the men of the Marine Barracks, San Juan, Puerto Rico, include a trip to the El Morro Fortress. San Juan is now retired as a Post of the Corps.
The Marines in Vietnam have found that the programs which work best are those which operate close to the people. Our July cover is a mixed media (acrylic and charcoal) by Art Editor James L. Hopewell. It catches the spirit of Marines who enjoy their relationship with the Vietnamese around them.
In Naples, Italy, Marines are responsible for the internal security of the Headquarters of NATO’s Southern European Command, while the elite Carabinieri Corpa provides external security. PFC Robert M. Mallard’s NATO shield was admired by a Carabiniere as the two men prepared to take up their side-by-side posts at the entrance of the imposing NATO Headquarters, which appears in the background of this cover.
"We've Fought In Every Clime And Place": Stamping out the Caco Insurrection in the Republic d' Haiti.
January 2002: The Marines engraved another mark in the rich history of the Corps when they came from more than 400 miles offshore to establish a forward operating base south of Kandahar in the war on terrorism. The Marine CH-46 helicopter on the cover, photographed by PH1(AW/SW) Greg Messier, USN, fought in the desert sand to land and resupply Marines such as the ones (inset) photographed by Sgt Joseph R. Chenelly.
January 2001: This firefight during the Frozen Chosin Reservoir Campaign of 1950 was painted by “Chosin Few” veteran Jack Cannon, who served with Company B, 1st Battalion, Seventh Marine Regiment and resides in the warmer climes of New Mexico. The cover was part of Leatherneck’s 50th anniversary salute to the Korean War veterans.
January 1992: This cover photograph of runners during Marine Corps Marathon XVI in Washington, D.C., was photographed by Sgt Deirdre Hallett.
January 1991: This month’s cover by Ross Simpson captures the Marines’ waiting-but-ready posture in the Middle East.
January 1982: Participants in the Sixth Annual Marine Corps Marathon presented a colorful spectacle as they began the 26-mile, 385-yard run in Washington, D.C., November 1, 1981. The cover photo, by Tom Bartlett, was taken from a bridge overlooking Highway 50 about a half-mile from the starting line.
January 1981: Nearly 7,800 runners participated in the Fifth Annual Marine Corps Marathon held in northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. The oldest finisher was 78; the youngest was 10. Leatherneck staffer Ron Lunn pre-positioned himself near the Nation’s Capitol to photograph runners during their 14th mile of the 26-mile, 385-yard course.
January 1972: This month’s cover, by Marine Combat Artist Peter Gish, shows members of the New Corps sightseeing in the Old World. While on liberty in Athens, Greece, the 3d Bn, Eighth Marines, were able to tour the Erektheon Porch and Cariatides. The water color is from the U.S. Marine Corps Combat Art collection.
Originally Published December 1983 -- Something tells us that we could date the cover without knowing when it was published.
Originally Published December 1972 -- We're not sure what's more interesting, Santa or the old style gas pump.
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This November 1992 article in the Marine Corps Gazette looked at the uniform regulations of 1859 and the attempt to standardize uniforms within the Corps. Read the story and see more pics.