Monday, January 26, 2009
Their homecoming was delayed for four hours by fog, but some 300 Marines and sailors returned from Iraq to Camp Pendleton after a deployment of more than a year.
Family and friends stood holding signs as the plane carrying Regimental Combat Team 5 arrived Sunday. One bore a marriage proposal. Another read: "Welcome home from Iraq, half of my heart has returned."
The regiment's commander Col. Patrick Malay says two members were killed during the deployment in the Anbar province.
Malay called their loss "a terrible tragedy," but added "we whacked our fair share of knuckleheads."
Fifty-nine-year-old Ronna Ketterling of San Clemente says the night her 25-year-old son Cpl. Robert Schur II left for Iraq was the worst night of her life. But she says "this is the best: My baby is coming home."