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VIDEO: Families Welcome 'Magnificent Bastards' From Deployment

Two companies of the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment made it to Camp Pendleton Tuesday after seven months in Afghanistan.

Editor's note: Because our readers can't get enough of homecomings, we've updated this with a gallery, a story and links to more stories from around the web.

By Cpl. Ned Johnson

Newborn babies, women, families, and a few dogs huddle around signs and American flags watching their own breathe in the cold and waiting.

Then it happens.

“Your Marines are on their way over the hill,” came a voice across a crowded parade deck in San Mateo, and the crowd erupts with thunderous cheers.

The ‘Freedom Riders’ rode their motorcycles in first, but the crowd was more interested in the parade to follow as Marines and sailors with Fox and Golf Companies, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, returned early Tuesday morning from a seven-month deployment to Helmand province, Afghanistan.

Hot coffee, hot dogs and a DJ spinning tunes may have set the mood, but the families of the Marines couldn’t contain themselves.

“I’m super excited,” said Taylor Bishton, girlfriend of Lance Cpl. Justin Homer, an infantryman with Fox Company “…Like I would randomly burst into tears because I am so excited.”

Homecomings are not only special for families and Marines, but also for those who support the Marines.

One woman and her family sponsored Fox Company and mailed more than 120 packages of blankets, socks, and phone cards to Marines they have never met before. She may not meet them tonight either, said Debbie Baumel, a Long Beach, Calif., native, but she is still excited for their return.

“Everybody is here for their families, and we totally get that,” Baumel said with a smile. “We’re so excited for the families and the Marines getting to see their families; we are just here for support.”

Another family, mother and son, had small but enthusiastic plans for Cpl. Nathan Davidson, an infantryman with Golf Company.

“I’m going to squeeze the stuffings out of him,” said Jamie Davidson, a native of Clayton, Ind.

The Marines deployed to northern Helmand province where they supported local governance and security in support Operation Enduring Freedom.

“We saw the security situation improve immeasurably while we were out there, and we think it will continue to do so,” said Capt. Thaddeus Drake, commanding officer of Golf Company.

Second Battalion, Fourth Marine Regiment is no stranger to combat, but Drake sees something unique in the early morning hours.

“I’ve done homecomings and I’ve done combat homecomings,” Drake said. “But I was just telling my wife that I have never seen anything like this.”

The men hugged their families, kissed their wives and after finding their bags, were gone in a flash. But the men of 2nd Bn., 4th Marines may never forget their time together, said Drake, and now their families will get their time together.

The “Magnificent Bastards” 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines, were assigned to Regimental Combat Team 6 under Task Force Leatherneck. The task force serves as the ground combat element of Regional Command (Southwest) and works in partnership with the Afghan National Security Force and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to conduct counterinsurgency operations.

More: See coverage from KUSI, U-T San Diego and the Orange County Register. Watch a Patch video of the the .

Have your own photos or videos of this homecoming? Upload them to the story by clicking the "Upload photos and video" button below the video. Want to show your Marine how proud you are? Consider creating an announcement for the accomplishment.

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Sheila Wilmouth March 29, 2012 at 04:52 PM
Hello Patch, This is Sheila Wilmouth with "Soldiers Far From Home" in the Central Valley area of Calif. FYI: We want to ship the packages for 4th of July, our Freedom Holiday. If you could put a bleep on Patch for us we would be most pleased. We contacted you last fall about needing names of deployed to ship to and got immediate reponses. Thanks for your help last fall Our tournament takes place on May 30, 2012 at Stevinson Ranch Golf Club in Stevinson, CA. It is a top rated course in the Central Valley and Golf Digest has given it an award along with other golf magazines. Cost is $100 per golfer and includes practice balls, green fees, cart and a catered tri-tip steak sandwich lunch, with chili beans, green salad and a brownie. Drinks included with the lunch are water and soft drinks. All alcohol beverages must be purchased seperately from the course. It is a Shotgun start, 4 man scrambles format. Hope you can put it out there. This is a big fundraiser for us. Not only we will use funds raised for our shipments, we are setting up visits to two of our local VA Hospitals to take wounded warriors there a small thank you for your service gift bag and to let them know that we haven't forgotten about their sacriface. Please let me know if you need any other info. Love the video above and we are planning our first time to attend such an event next week in Lathrop, CA. Sincerely, Sheila Wilmouth President Soldiers Far From Home 209-605-1026 soldiersfarfromhome@comcast.net
Daniel Woolfolk March 29, 2012 at 07:20 PM
Thank you, Sheila, I will send you an email.

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