150 Marines Return - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

05/12/03

150 Marines Return

Hundreds of people turned out in the Low Country to welcome more than a 150 Marines back to the Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort. Luz Maria Vergara is just one of the several hundred family members that came out to welcome home their special Marines. Accompanied by her sister and niece, her arrival was very unsuspected.

"I wasn't even going to call her until tomorrow," Sgt. Eric Vergara. "I was going to call her for Mother's Day, but I guess she's here and that's cool."

For other mothers, this day was cool as well.

"I'm so glad to see him back here where he belongs," said military spouse Lauri Dunn.

Before she knew it was him, Lauri's husband, Gy. Sgt. Shawn Dunn, had the honor of seeing and hearing the crowd before everyone else as he waved the flag from the top of the aircraft.

"There's not enough that we could say for all the support we got," Gy. Sgt. Dunn said. "It was wonderful."

For Marines like Eric Vergara, this homecoming was extra special. His deployment to the Middle East will be his last.

"I got stationed out here and it was good for my career," he said. "It kept my head straight and everything, now I'm done. It's time to go home."

Out of all the men and women that were in this squadron, they were lucky. Not one life was lost, and out of the 150 that come home this weekend, still more are over in the Gulf. We were told they will be home by Memorial Day. The Marines are part of the All Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 533, known as the Hawks.

Reported by: Nicole Teigen, nteigen@wtoc.com

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