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Deployed Marines return home

Marine Corps News

Release Date: 5/13/2004

Story by Cpl. Jeff Zaccaro

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif.(May 13, 2004) -- A homecoming ceremony was held here at Hangar 4 May 5 to celebrate the return of more than 80 Marines who were recently deployed to Iraq in support of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing operations.

The Marines were from various units stationed here, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., and Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif.

According to Master Gunnery Sgt. Charles Woods, Marine Wing Communications Squadron 38 operations chief and Kansas City, Mo., native, the Marines returned earlier than normal for a variety of reasons.

"Most of the Marines left for Iraq in February and were part of the advanced parties or may have received orders requiring them to return early," he said. "Nevertheless, it is superb to have them back."

The Marines were coming back to a world of change after being gone for several months.

Kimberly Rivera, wife of Sgt. Rodrigo Rivera, who had been deployed since February, awaited her husband's return with a newborn baby in hand.

"It feels really good to have him home," she said. "We just had a new baby, and he has really been wanting to see her. While he has been gone I have been sending him pictures so he is really excited to actually see and hold her."

For others, Iraq deployments have become a way of life and have been easier to deal with.

"Iraq was a little bit better this time since we had a little bit different mission, and things are going pretty good over there, but it always feel good to come home," said Sgt. Tanner Bass, MWCS-38 embarkation chief and Saginaw, Texas, native.

His wife, Karla, who was left home with four kids, found a few tricks to making the deployments go by faster.

"The only way to really get by is to just not watch the news and don't listen to all the gossip," she said.

With this homecoming the Marines will return to their work sections, and some will eventually return to Iraq, but nevertheless it is good to be back, added Tanner.

"I know he is going to have to go back, but for now it is nice to have him home," said Karla.

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