PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. - Under the cloudy night sky and the threat of rain, 145 Marines from Company G, 2nd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, returned home to Picatinny April 10.

The Marine Corps Reserve unit departed the area in May for several months of training at Twentynine Palms, Calif., before deploying to Iraq in September.

While in Iraq the Marines performed counter-insurgency operations and training and mentored Iraqi Security Forces in functions that included base security missions at Al Asad Air Base and in the western Anbar province in Akashat, which is approximately 20 kilometers from the Syrian border.

Hundreds of family members and friends greeted the Marines, many with tears in their eyes, but they were tears of joy.

The company commander, Marine Maj. John Fitzsimmons, addressed the crowd briefly before dismissing his Marines back into their loved ones' arms. He told the families of the duties and responsibilities the Marines had while deployed and said the families are not the only ones who are proud of them.

"Your Marines were the best Marines in the battalion commander's eyes, and that is why they were assigned to this mission," he said.

After being dismissed, the Marines shouted out a motivational "Ooh-Rah" and disappeared just as quickly as they arrived.

This mobilization was the 2nd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment's third since 2002 and their second tour in Iraq.

Page last updated Mon April 20th, 2009 at 15:27