Marines, Sailors Return from Middle East - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

08/18/04

Marines, Sailors Return from Middle East

Nearly a hundred Beaufort Marines and sailors were reunited with their families today after serving six months in Iraq. Members of Marine Wing Support Squadron 2-73 and Marine Air Control Squadron 2 came home today. Family and friends waived their flags and showed their support at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort.

They certainly are glad to be home, but they're also proud of what they've accomplished over the past six months.

"It feels great, outstanding, I'm overwhelmed," said Cpl. Detrick Judkins.

It's a feeling most everyone shares now that they're home safe. "It's such a relief to have him home, we're very excited," Marine wife Sheila Arnett told us.

But for Sgt. Neil Gambala, it was more than a homecoming. It was a long-awaited introduction to his brand new baby girl. "It feels great. It's a wonderful experience to see my new baby for the first time," said Sgt. Gambala. "I can't explain it. I got a lot of pictures of her while I was out there and I couldn't wait to see her."

Now that the Gambala family is all together, they're ready to catch up. "We've missed him so much, so much has happened," said wife Kelly. "We're glad to have him home. We're so proud of him too."

Although these Marines and sailors are back home, their fellow Marines and sailors are still in harm's way.

"They're still working really hard over there," said MSgt. Brian Arnett. "The mission isn't done. It won't be done for some time. We've got to continue supporting those guys."

Nearly 500 Marines and sailors with both of these squadrons are still in Iraq and are expected back next month. 

Reported by: Jaime Dailey, jdailey@wtoc.com

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