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Marines, sailors are back from 7-month deployment in Iraq
A grand hero's welcome rang out Saturday as another bunch of Marines and sailors returned to Yuma from serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom. They were from Marine Wing Support squadron 371, and had been deployed in Iraq for the last seven months.
DETAILS AND QUOTES:
-Group name: Marine Wing Support Squadron 371, nicknamed the "Sand Sharks"
-Numbers: 245 came home Saturday, while others from the 560-person squadron returned earlier
-Length of deployment: Seven months
-Location: Deployed mostly to the Al Anbar province of Iraq
-Their job: MWSS 371 provides logistics support ranging from building runways to maintaining, refueling and supplying convoys and transportation equipment.
Quotes from Marines, sailors and their loved ones...
Other than family and friends what did you miss most about home?
"I just missed home, missed having a bathroom and bedroom in the same facility. I just missed everything. It's the United States. It's great."
-Lt. Lynn Christenson, Navy chaplain
"I missed the trees, the greenery, the people and that right there."
-Corp. Christopher O'Brien, pointing at a bottle of beer
What message do you have for the people of Yuma?
"Just thanks for your support. We're out there for everybody."
-Corp. Christopher O'Brien
"Just be glad we're doing our job, doing it right."
-Sgt. Steven Shiverts
What is the public's biggest misconception about the war?
"I find it difficult to understand people who say they support the troops, but they don't support the war. I think in order to support the troops we have to support what they're doing and be behind them 110 percent."
-Michelle Myers, mother of a Marine
How does a father handle a son going off to war?
"I was there myself - former Marine here. It's not easy, but that old Marine training sticks with you. Remember that he's got a job to do and you make the best of it. You keep your fingers crossed and the prayers going every night."
-Joe Myers, father of a Marine, who served in Panama during the Vietnam War
What do you have planned for fun stuff now that your husband is home?
"We plan to go on a Disney cruise down to Cozumel, Mexico! I've also cooked his favorite meal - beef stroganoff."
How do you explain to your kids about where their dad/uncle has been?
"His dad is in the Army, so he knows they're gone fighting the bad people."
-Melissa Cintron, sister of a Marine, about how her son has handled his uncle's deployment.
What's it like being the husband of a deployed Marine?
"I was in the Marines for eight years and I was always single, so this is the first time. She's just a good Marine and I'm proud of her. She's doing her job."
-Michael Bailey, husband of a Marine
Darin Fenger can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6860.