Troops Return Home for the Holiday - NBC 7 San Diego

Troops Return Home for the Holiday



    Marines and sailors with 1st Battalion 11th Marine Regiment just got home from Afghanistan.

    After months of waiting and worrying, homecoming night finally happened late Tuesday when the 1/11 arrived at Camp Pendleton after a seven-month deployment.

    "This is what makes me want to come home alive,” said Cpl Antonio Garay standing with his wife and newborn. “I've got a lot to lose."

    In addition to a lot of newborns, there were more than a few newlyweds thrilled to be back together again. Several couples are celebrating their first wedding anniversary this week.

    "I was nickel and diming the days kind of counting, asking everybody when are we leaving. It was pretty bad,” said Cpl Ryan Radawnski. “People kept getting really annoyed because I kept asking when we're going home."

    “It's a reunion of sorts and it's a first time meeting for a lot of the new fathers and their newborns,” said Major David Everly. “We've had 10-15 newborns since we've deployed so it's a special occasion."

    More than 500 members of the 1/11 are set to return to Camp Pendleton over the next couple of weeks. Executive Officer Major David Everly promises everyone will be back in time for Christmas.

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