MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
More than 90 Marines and Sailors with Marine Wing Headquarters Squadron 2 returned to Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point Thursday after completing a year-long deployment in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
The unit reunited with their friends and family during a reception the Training and Education building aboard the air station. There, troops and their families shared mixed emotions about the deployment.
While deployed, the support squadron made it a priority to take care of any administrative issues such as pay problems their Marines and Sailors had. They also managed supply transactions, handled billeting and provided internal logistics for wing headquarters, said Maj. Kyrl A. Erickson, who served as MWHS-2 forward's commanding officer.
"I'm very proud of the job they did," he said. "Our focus was to take some of the pressure off of wing headquarters so they could provide the best aviation support possible."
During pre-deployment exercises the Marines and Sailors underwent extensive training tailored to each individual job, said Lt. Col. Thomas J. Witczak, the commanding officer of MWHS-2.
"I am excited to have my husband home," said Misty Ash, spouse of 1st Lt. Logan P. Ash, a supply officer with MWHS-2.
Misty said this deployment was very hard for the family because of the length of time her husband spent in Afghanistan.
"This was our first deployment since having children. Our daughter Addison is excited to see him," she said.
"We are very excited to have our son home," said Corey and Paula Wagner, who made the trip from Nebraska to welcome their son home. "To make the holidays more enjoyable for Ethan, we sent him Christmas in a box."
Inside the care package, his parents included a small tree, stockings and a small nativity scene so he could have a small piece of home with him.
Like the Wagners, many other families traveled from all over to be there for their loved ones when they returned.
"We drove four hours from Greenville, S.C., because we wanted to show our grandson that we are very proud of his accomplishments," said Frances and Dean Brown. Their grandson Sgt. Richard C. Abercrombie is a warehouse clerk with MWHS-2.
The Browns said that they support their grandson in every way possible. They say he is more like a son to them because they raised him.
"I'm very glad to be back, I missed my grandparents so much," said Abercrombie. "Now that I'm back, it is definitely family time."