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San Antonio Marines and Sailors Get Warm Welcome Home From Iraq

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070928-14
Release Date: 9/28/2007 1:37:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class L.A. Shively, Navy Office of Community Outreach Public Affairs

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (NNS) -- Loud cheers and warm hugs greeted the 75 Marines and Sailors as they stepped off buses at the Navy Operational Support Center San Antonio, arriving home from a seven-month deployment to Iraq.

Headquartered in San Antonio, the 4th Reconnaissance Battalion, 4th Marine Division has reserve units in Texas, New Mexico, Montana, Alaska, Illinois and Georgia. The unit was also part of the 2003 invasion of Iraq according to Maj. Humberto Rodriguez, executive officer for the battalion.

Working at the front lines of the battle in Iraq gathering intelligence, following leads and detaining insurgents in Al Anbar Province, this deployment was the second back-to-back for a total of five evolutions in the past two years and the first without casualties for the reserve unit. A previous detachment had recently returned from Iraq in March with two killed in action and five wounded in Iraq.

"These guys are the eyes and ears for other Marine units," Rodriguez explained, who said he believed that the surge has slowed the hostilities in the country and that there was a big difference from the previous year.

"It may be attributed to (the surge of troops). There's a lot of signs that do point that way," Rodriguez said.

"It's getting better over there," said Sgt. Daniel Mosley, through the welcoming clamor of relatives and friends who were glad to have him back. This was the second deployment for Mosley who said that there was less violence throughout Iraq as compared to his first in country.

"We're making great progress in the Al Anbar Province," said Cpl. Daniel Elborne, who returned from a second deployment. "There is a much stronger presence of coalition forces. There's a police force and growing Iraqi army and the insurgents are on the run. It makes it much easier to accomplish the mission out there when you have greater numbers looking for the enemy."

He agreed the surge of troops in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom was working.

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