MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
Hugs, kisses and tears were a common sight during the homecomings of Company B, and Headquarters and Service Company, 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, Sept. 23 and 24 at the Combat Center’s Victory Field.
Both companies spent six months in Iraq conducting security patrols and acting as a stabilizing force. Sniper teams from H and S Co. provided surveillance and reconnaissance operations, monitored possible insurgent hot spots, weapons caches and improvised explosive device cells. Some elements of both companies are still in Iraq.
As friends and families waited for their loved ones to show up, the Combat Center Band played music to help pass the time. Everyone waiting looked excited to finally see their Marines and sailors who deployed, but some looked and sounded more energetic than others.
“It feels great to finally see him,” said Randy Dolan, father of Lance Cpl. Jason Dolan, a field radio operator for Co. B, 3rd LAR. “Can’t wait to take him to the ocean since he went from Twentynine Palms to Iraq and back to Twentynine Palms again,” said the Ventura, Calif., resident.
As the Marines and sailors got off the buses, some could not help but run to their families once they saw them while others gathered in groups and left the field with friends by their side.
“I’m going to try and spend time with family and friends,” said Sgt. Sean Smith, a squad leader for 3rd Platoon, Co. B, 3rd LAR. “I’m definitely going to go to the nearest mall and see what is new.”