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Photo Information

Cpl. Christopher Fuller, a crew chief with Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252, embraces his wife, Jessica Fuller during a return celebration for the Marines of VMGR-252 at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, July 20, 2015. Eighty Marines arrived in VMGR-252’s hangar to meet their families for the first time in half a year, after returning from a deployment in Moron Air Base, Spain, maintaining readiness for crisis response in Africa.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Jason Jimenez

Cherry Point welcomes home VMGR-252

22 Jul 2015 | Lance Cpl. Jason Jimenez 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing

Anxiously the families scanned the crowd of eighty Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252 Marines as they stepped foot on American soil again following a six-monthlong deployment to Moron Air Base, Spain, here, July 20, 2015.

VMGR-252 friends and families stood holding signs and waving American flags inside the squadron’s hangar as the Marines disembarked the plane, the moment had come, families and friends finally greeted their Marines for the first time in half a year.

According to Maj. Benjamin W. Grant, the detachment officer in charge with VMGR-252, while deployed, VMGR-252 was a part of an alert force that the Marine Corps has established with North and West Africa for any crisis of national interest and to protect American or allied interests. The Marines had trained bilaterally with allies and NATO partners in the region during the deployment.

“When you leave, it feels like home is a long way away but then it sneaks up and you reflect on the past six months,” said Grant. “It is so busy that you are there wondering when homecoming will happen, then you blink and you are hugging your wife.”

According to Grant, having the young, state-side Marines see us come home, reminds them that not only are we needed, but we are relevant and what we do is important on a day-to-day basis. A lot of behind the scenes work that VMGR-252 Marines did enabled the nation and the Marine Corps to achieve it’s goals.

“We are excited in pre-deployment and super busy during deployment,” said Sgt. John Luna, an avionics noncommissioned officer in charge with VMGR-252. “A week before heading home it is like you cannot wait to drop your pack and hug your family.

 “It truly feels awesome to be back home and welcomed by everyone that missed us because we definitely missed them,” said Luna. “I want to wish everyone a good welcome home.”

2nd Marine Aircraft Wing