AL ASAD AIR BASE, Iraq --
Service members and civilians of II Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group (Forward) attended an “end in sight” luncheon aboard Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, to recognize the unit’s end of mission.
Attendees gathered in the great room of the Morale, Welfare and Recreation center aboard the base for a barbecue and dessert, Dec. 19, 2009.
During the luncheon, Marines and sailors shared stories from the year-long deployment spent with their fellow service members.
“Looking back, I will miss the convoys we went on and the unity we have built as an office,” said Lance Cpl. Shayn Foucault, a warehouseman with II MHG (Fwd) supply.
“I got to spend a lot of time with my junior Marines and got to know who they really were,” explained Cpl. Justin C. Keith, the assistant platoon sergeant for Truck Detachment, II MHG (Fwd).
The Marines were reminded that even with the deployment winding down and the planes back to the U.S. in sight, there is no excuse for being complacent.
“Some of you have a few weeks, some maybe just a little more,” said Maj. Matthew Mestemaker, commanding officer of Headquarters and Service Company, II MHG (Fwd). “Safety is still important, as well as mission accomplishment.”
With the end in sight, many Marines are preparing for the warm welcome from family and friends.
“My family has been so supportive of me,” said Foucault. “I can’t wait to see them when I get home.”
“When I get home, it’s all about my baby girl,” said Keith. “I missed [her] first birthday since I have been out here, and I can’t wait to actually spend time with my little girl. At the same time, I need to thank all the Marines I worked with because without them, I might not be going home to see her. I owe my life to my Marines who served to my left and right.”