MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
Marines with 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, returned to a cheering crowd of families and loved ones during their homecoming event at Del Valle Field Tuesday.
The field had been occupied by 2/7’s fans for hours prior to their arrival. The crowd faced intense winds and clouds of dust blew into the air as they waited for the battalion’s return.
The Marines marched from the battalion’s armory to the field where they were greeted with celebration. Some Marines were nearly knocked over as loved ones tackled them with a hug.
For some families it was a first deployment, but for others it was a well-known part of life in the Marine Corps.
Chelsea Meares was in attendance at the event to welcome her husband, Lance Cpl. Aaron Meares, a mortarman with Weapons Company, 2/7. In their three years of marriage, they have faced two deployments together. She says her experience with the military has made it easier, but it feels good to have him back.
The battalion returned from a seven-month deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. During their deployment, they provided support to Afghan National Forces and trained them to become self-sufficient in the fight against the Taliban.
They were replaced in their mission overseas by 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, who deployed in March.