Marines return to Camp Lejeune after 10-month deployment
The Daily News, Jacksonville, N.C.
JACKSONVILLE, N.C. — A superstorm couldn’t stop Jonell Rogers from seeing her son.
Rogers and her family drove 780 miles from Madison, Ind. — through a blizzard and Superstorm Sandy — to make it to Camp Lejeune Thursday for her Lance Cpl. Mitchell Rogers’ homecoming.
The Marine has been in Afghanistan for the past 10 months, and Jonell Rogers said she wasn’t going to let a little storm stop her from seeing him.
“Words can’t describe how we feel right now,” she said with tears in her eyes. “We were so nervous. We watched the news every day — we were glued to the news.
“But we’re just so proud of him.”
Mitchell Rogers’ father, Glenn Rogers, also held back tears as he described their experience driving down from Indiana.
“It was the shortest and longest 780-mile trip here,” Glenn Rogers said. “It seemed like it wasn’t ever going to come to an end ... No words can express how glad I am that he’s here.”
Mitchell Rogers was one of about 175 Regimental Combat Team 6 Marines and sailors who returned Thursday afternoon from a 10-month deployment to Afghanistan. The Marines were welcomed by hopeful spouses, children and family members all eager to see their service members after almost a year apart.
Lance Cpl. Dalton McPherson was especially excited to get off the bus and into his wife’s arms. Alyssa McPherson bore him his first child while he was gone — a baby girl who is now 7-months-old.
“It’s amazing being back,” Dalton McPherson said as he held his baby close. “I’ve been seeing (the baby) grow up over Skype for the past 10 and a half months, so it’s awesome to be here.”
Few details were released about the deployed unit’s mission in Afghanistan, but families said the important thing was that everyone made it home okay.
“We’re just really proud and we’re glad they all made it home safe,” Jonell Rogers said.