Lilli Ozenne drove from the San Francisco Bay area to see her son, Cpl. Ryan Cole, a member of the 1st Marine Division, return from seven months in Afghanistan.
She was one of hundreds of family members waiting in a cold fog on base late Monday evening for some 230 members of the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines.
“We’re just happy they’re coming home,” she said. “It’s been a long few months.”
The unit’s mission in the southern and central Helmand River Valley was to interdict and disrupt enemy command and logistical efforts. Doing so, it lost 17 Marines.
They arrived at the base and turned in equipment and, one by one, they trickled into the crowds of families.
Cpl. David Anglin came to the base prepared with flowers for his wife, Brooke.
He was immediately met by friends, who told him she was at the truck with their daughter.
He sped toward the truck, spotted her and sneaked up.
“Oh my God,” she said before they embraced. “I can’t believe you’re back.”
Correction: The previous version had an incorrect number of Marines Killed in Action.