MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. -- 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment returned to the Combat Center after a seven-month deployment to Afghanistan, March 22, 2014.
Family, friends and fellow Marines awaited the arrival of their loved ones at Del Valle field where the homecoming was staged. Prior to the arrival, signs depicting those returning as well as flags waving could be seen as they prepared to embrace their service member.
“This is the first homecoming I have been to, and it was absolutely amazing,” said Lean Guckian, sister of Lance Cpl. Seth Guckian. “It was all kind of overwhelming, but everything was very well organized and it was a great experience.”
While deployed, Marines and sailors with 3/7 combined efforts with the Afghan National Security Forces, preparing them to take the lead in counter-insurgency operations.
“We were the holders of Sangin,” said 1st Sgt. Jairo Fredonis, weapons company first sergeant. “We were charged with keeping the forward operating base open for stability in that district working alongside the Afghan National Security Forces.”
As the Marines and sailors marched up to Del Valle Field, families and friends bared a look of enjoyment at the site of their loved ones.
“It’s always very exciting to see the Marines and sailors coming home,” said Andrea Tatayon, family readiness officer, 3/7. “There is a lot of different logistical aspects to set up these homecomings, and we were thankful to have a lot of help from our sister battalion, 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines. It makes it all worth it to see the families reunited with their loved ones.”
Upon the Marines' and sailors' arrival, a time to reflect on their deployment and look forward to their next operation will be allotted.
“We have a great sense of accomplishment after this deployment,” said Lt. Col. Daniel Wittnam, battalion commander, 3/7. “All of our Marines, especially our young non-commissioned officers, made great choices over there, worked really hard, and came home with our honor clean.”
With all of 3/7 back on American soil, the battalion will continue to train, as Marines and sailors do, for their next call to action.