MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. -- One-hundred ten Marines and Sailors of Charlie Company, 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion returned home July 17 after more than six months deployed to Okinawa, Japan, as part of the Unit Deployment Program.
While in Okinawa, the company spent three weeks participating at the Jungle Warfare Training Center in the basic jungle skills course and the combat tracking course. The Marines then went to Korea and participated in the Korean Integrated Training Program for one month, where they trained approximately 2,000 Republic of Korea Marines.
As the Marines and Sailors returned, some were greeted by parents, some by wives and some by the crying of little babies they hadn’t seen for so long.
“This doesn’t seem real,” said Lance Cpl. Joshua Osburn as he held his son Donovyn on his lap.
“I feel now I can finally start my life with my wife,” said Cpl. John Roescher with his wife Laura next to him.
Cpl. Garner Pagel was welcomed home by his father and mother.
“It’s a relief to have him home,” said Terrie Pagel, Cpl. Pagel’s mother. “I think my hair has stopped turning gray now.”
“It's good to see him again, you have to touch them every once in a while,” said Pat Pagel, Cpl. Pagel’s father.
“To hear their voice too,” added Pagel’s mother.
Lance Corporal’s Andrew Jorgesen and Leslie Sheridan debated about why it was good to be back.
“It’s a lot cooler here than Japan,” said Sheridan.
Jorgesen said it’s exciting and fun to be back in America, because he get’s to see his family.
Cpl. Jacob Purcell returned to his fiancé Crystal Medrano and his father and mother, Ed and Jean.
His father said it’s great to have him back and he’s been counting down the days since he left.
“He’s due to get married July 29, so I’m glad he’s back,” said Purcell’s mother.
Just as soon as they were off the bus and into the arms of loved ones, they were gone, packing everything up into cars and leaving with smiles on their faces. Only a few Marines stayed back and talked with each other about what their plans were now that they were back home.
The Marines will go on block leave, before they regroup and get ready for their next assignment.