MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER, TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
The Marines and sailors of 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, returned to the Combat Center March 25 after being deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The primary job of the Marines with 3/7, who deployed last fall, was to work with the Iraqi police and other local institutions in Al Anbar province, Iraq, said 1st Lt. John Meyer, the executive officer of Company K, 3/7.
“We worked alongside and helped build up the Iraqi security forces and their local government,” said the Ft. Worth, Texas native. “It was a challenge working with them, but we did everything we could to accomplish our mission.
Meyer said he was proud of everything the battalion accomplished during their time overseas.
“We were absolutely successful in everything we did in Iraq,” he said. “It feels good to help out a young nation’s military and society grow.”
Family’s waited through the afternoon into the night for their loved ones, some of which had never had their son deployed before.
“This is my son’s first deployment,” said George Bailey, father of Lance Cpl. Blake Bailey, an infantryman with Company K.
George Bailey, who came from Dayton, Ohio, said it was not easy having a member of his family overseas.
“It’s always a scary thing, but we supported him all throughout it,” he said. “We all knew he was doing what he wanted. This was his dream, he wanted to be a Marine since he was a young man.”
George Bailey said he and the rest of the family were looking forward to seeing their son.
“When he gets back we’re just going to enjoy visiting him for now,” he said. “He’ll most likely be taking leave and coming home soon, we’ll have more time to see him then.”
With 3/7 now back in the country, they will be taking some well-deserved time off before returning to their training cycle.