Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C. --
Marines with Company F, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, returned home Aug. 6, 2011, from a seven month deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Families, friends, and service members anxiously gathered Saturday morning, despite rain and clouds, to welcome home their loved ones aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.
“Today feels like Christmas…it’s unreal and is something I have dreamt about and it’s hard to put into words,” said the mother of Cpl. Adam MunzLang. “My tears are happy and joyful, not sad tears.”
The crowd grew restless once they were told the Marines were dropping off their rifles and that their next stop would be to meet them with open arms.
For Lance Cpl. Joshua Coscomb, with 3rd platoon, Company F, familiar friends and family members waited. However, there was one he had never met before, and she waited eagerly to meet and see him in person for the first time.
“I met Josh through a mutual friend, but we have never met in person. We have been talking online and through mail since he was deployed,” said Coscomb’s latest friend. “On the way here, everything going through my mind was just excitement and being anxious to meet him for the first time.”
Suddenly, the crowd erupted into cheers as buses escorted by the motorcycles of the Freedom Riders rounded the corner and pulled into the parking lot.
The crowd had been waiting all morning for this moment. When the doors opened and Marines and sailors in their desert uniforms came off the bus, the excitement was no longer contained and the crowd erupted into joyful cheers.
The Marines and sailors with Company F, 2/8, were stationed in Helmand province, Afghanistan and performed an honorable job said First Sgt. Dwain T. Norman, Company G’s first sergeant.
“It’s a really good thing that they made it back safely, especially with families and friends up this early to welcome them home,” said Norman. “This is America’s Battalion, and I look forward to serving with them in the future because of such an honorable job and the accomplishments they completed while deployed.”