MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
“Family means everything to the Marine Corps,” said Lt. Gen. Dennis J. Hejlik, the commanding general of II Marine Expeditionary Force. “Most people have heard the saying ‘You recruit the Marine, and retain the family.’ You can’t do it without the family, and that is why Maj. Gen. Flock and I held this meeting to inform the spouses of what their loved ones are doing.”
Hejlik didn’t waste any time addressing the importance of family at a townhall meeting at the bachelor officers’ quarters aboard the air station, Jan. 20.
Hejlik’s meeting was specifically held for the spouses of the Marines who are redeploying from Cherry Point to Haiti with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit.The spouses were given the chance to ask questions about the timeline they should expect their loved ones to be away from home, as well as other questions that pertain to the current situation.
On Jan. 12, Marines and Sailors assigned to the 22nd MEU were redeployed and arrived in Haiti on Jan. 18.
The 22nd MEU was sent to help with the humanitarian relief mission for the Haitian people after the earthquake that devastated Haiti on Jan. 12.
Marines and Sailors from Cherry Point are assigned to the 22nd MEU as part of the Security Cooperation Marine Air-Ground Task Force in support of Operation Unified Response.
“Wednesday’s townhall meeting illustrates the high priority both of the commanding generals place on family readiness and keeping our family members informed,” said Dawn Rae, the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing family readiness officer. “Our 2nd MAW mantra is: family readiness equals mission readiness.”
Maj. Gen. James F. Flock, commanding general for 2nd MAW, said family is a big part of the Marine Corps and as such, it is his job to take care of the Marines and their families. Flock accomplishes this by keeping families up-to-date with what is happening during deployments.
The 16 spouses in attendance agreed the most important question they wanted answered was, “How long will their loved ones be gone?”
Flock said at this time he did not know when the 22nd MEU would be returning. The date of their loved ones returning depends on how fast clean-up and relief efforts take.
For most of the spouses this was not their first deployment experience and they passed on advice for the other spouses who had not yet faced a deployment.