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1/8 Marines and sailors return from Iraq

Friends and family of the 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, gathered together in the early morning hours of Sept 18, 2009, aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., to welcome home their Marines and sailors.


9/23/2009 By Pfc. Clayton L. VonDerahe, 2nd Marine Division

“I’m glad my son is back on U.S. soil and he has all his parts still intact,” said the father of Lance Cpl. Jason Morgan, a rifleman with Company A. “I’m very proud and anxious to see my son.”

The battalion’s main objective during their seven-month deployment was to provide security for Al Asad Air Base and Camp Al Taqaddum, Iraq.

“My Marines did a fantastic job,” said Lt. Col. Daniel Sullivan, the battalion commander, speaking about his battalion’s service in Iraq. “It took a lot of mental toughness and endurance to finish strong.”

As the Marine Corps’ role in Operation Iraqi Freedom continues to wind down, the return of 1/8 is yet another in a long series of homecomings.

“The Marines did an outstanding job; they knew their mission and put their best foot forward,” said Sgt. Maj. Timothy Ruff.

As the Marines gathered their bags and reunited with their loved ones, they expressed their gratitude to return home after a successful deployment.

“It feels great,” said Lance Cpl. Dan Linskey, a machine gunner with Company C. “I was really ready to come home and I’m glad to see my mom and my sister.”

For more information on the II Marine Expeditionary Force, visit the unit’s web site at www.iimefpublic.usmc.mil.