Marine Reservists Return - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

06/16/03

Marine Reservists Return

Tensions in Iraq have lessened enough for some American military to come home. Today, 25 of them returned through the Coastal Empire. These Marines were from Florida and their families came all the way to Savannah to see them. They waited at Hunter Army Airfield as their Marines flew into Savannah-Hilton Head International.

"I found out a couple of weeks ago that they were going to be coming back toward the states," said military wife Leigh Anne Long. "They had to go to Camp Pendleton first then I found out Friday they were coming home today."

The reservists left their full-time jobs in March, days before war started. They took their place with active duty Marines to keep supplies on planes to those in battle. Now loved ones could hardly wait for them to come home.

"We're just ecstatic," said military dad Bob Beck. "We're just so happy to have him back here and so Brett can get back in a regular routine."

Finally, two buses arrived and loud cheers of excitement gave way to quiet sighs and hugs of gratitude. But with Marines, thoughts of that regular routine weren't far away.

"Oh definitely, I want a steak and mashed potatoes," Lcpl. Brett Beck said.

The Marines are much closer to home but they're not there yet. They'll be processed at Hunter for a few days before they can leave. Families say they don't mind the wait as long as they get their loved ones back. Of course thousands of Third Infantry Division troops are still in the Middle East and those families are still waiting.

Reported by: Dal Cannady, dcannady@wtoc.com

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