Marine Reservists Dismissed from Active Duty

The Second Beach and Terminal Operations Company is based at Hunter Army Airfield and got its official orders to dismiss today. WTOC attended the ceremony this afternoon, and got a look at what these Marine reservists have been doing the last six months. As part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Second BTO has sort of been scattered, with members stationed in California, North Carolina, Kuwait and Iraq. Their main job was to help other Marines get to where they were supposed to go.

"Oh, it was outstanding. I can't wait to get home and sleep there for a few nights in a row," said LCpl. Jeff Thompson.

For at least two people, today marks the first real chance at a beginning. Stacey and LCpl. Jeff Thompson actually got married the day before the Second BTO was deployed.

"We had our honeymoon at the Howard Johnson in Statesboro," said Stacey. "One night in a room. Breakfast with the parents the next morning. It was interesting."

The tour of duty that started for these Marines six months ago led some of them right into the heart of the Middle East, which just makes them appreciate the US that much more. As LCpl. John Enrique said, "The conditions, it's 115 degree weather. Being out there is an adrenaline rush, but I mean it's definitely not something you choose to be in."

Now this wasn't the entire company getting dismissal orders today. There are still 54 members of the Second BTO on duty in various locales, and they hope to all be home by December.

Reported by: Chris Cowperthwaite, ccowperthwaite@wtoc.com