MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
Approximately 85 Marines and sailors with Company C, 1st Tank Battalion were welcomed home by their loved ones at the 1st Tank Battalion Ramp, Sept. 25.
“I am extremely excited for the families and the return of these sailors and Marines,” said Lt. Col. Lee Rush, battalion commander, 1st Tank Battalion. “This is tremendous to see the amount of excitement and energy that the families have right now just to welcome everybody back home.”
The Marines were deployed for approximately seven months in support of Marine Aircraft Group 50.
“I can’t tell you how proud I am of them,” Rush said. “I keep telling the parents, I am as excited as they are just to have the safe return of our sailors and Marines.”
Although this is a happy reunion with loved ones, for some, this is an introduction to new members of their family.
“I’m really excited to be home, I’m finally able to meet my daughter,” said Lance Cpl. Brian Gonzales, field wireman, 1st Tank Battalion. “The only time I got to see her was on face time so I couldn’t really feel the emotions I feel now. So to actually see her, it finally hit me. It’s more emotional.”
Although the Marines have returned from their deployment, training and preparation for the next assignment is always on the list for the battalion.
“We’ll give them their post-deployment training, and the post-deployment leave block and a little bit of time off,” Rush said. “Then they’ll be right back at getting to their primary MOS skill training.”
Homecomings are special for the service members returning home. What makes them better is witnessing the support of those who love them.
“Everyone should always try and take an opportunity to come out and welcome our Marines home from deployment,” Rush said. “Just a chance to see the smiles on the faces of the children, wives and spouses is very uplifting.”