MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, NORTH CAROLINA --
Anxiously the families scanned the crowd of eighty
Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252 Marines as they stepped foot on
American soil again following a six-monthlong deployment to Moron Air Base,
Spain, here, July 20, 2015.
VMGR-252 friends and families stood holding signs
and waving American flags inside the squadron’s hangar as the Marines
disembarked the plane, the moment had come, families and friends finally greeted
their Marines for the first time in half a year.
According to Maj. Benjamin W. Grant, the detachment officer
in charge with VMGR-252, while deployed, VMGR-252 was a part of an alert force
that the Marine Corps has established with North and West Africa for any crisis
of national interest and to protect American or allied interests. The Marines had
trained bilaterally with allies and NATO partners in the region during the
“When you leave, it feels like home is a long way
away but then it sneaks up and you reflect on the past six months,” said Grant.
“It is so busy that you are there wondering when homecoming will happen, then
you blink and you are hugging your wife.”
According to Grant, having the young, state-side
Marines see us come home, reminds them that not only are we needed, but we are
relevant and what we do is important on a day-to-day basis. A lot of behind the
scenes work that VMGR-252 Marines did enabled the nation and the Marine Corps
to achieve it’s goals.
“We are excited in pre-deployment and super busy
during deployment,” said Sgt. John Luna, an avionics noncommissioned officer in
charge with VMGR-252. “A week before heading home it is like you cannot wait to
drop your pack and hug your family.
feels awesome to be back home and welcomed by everyone that missed us because
we definitely missed them,” said Luna. “I want to wish everyone a good welcome