Reality hits home for many families who had to say goodbye to their Marines who deployed to Afghanistan on Monday from Camp Pendleton.
Stars and Stripes — Cpl. Michael Nelson wanted to join the Marine Corps from a young age, and he always assumed he would deploy to Afghanistan.
But on Monday morning, it was Nelson’s wife, Lance Cpl. Samantha Gullatta, who got on the bus for a yearlong deployment in Helmand province, while Nelson waved goodbye.
“It’s an eye-opener,” Nelson said. “It’s just different looking at it this way.”
I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) will soon take command of Regional Command – Southwest, based at Camp Leatherneck. The unit will be the last major Marine command to deploy to Afghanistan. It will focus on getting equipment and people out of Afghanistan safely, and help make sure the April presidential elections and political transition go smoothly.
Daniel Hunt, 15, said he arrived at the dark parking lot at 2 a.m. Monday to spend time with his father, I MEF (Fwd)’s chaplain. This is the fifth deployment Cmdr. Thomas Hunt of Daniel’s life, but the teenager said it never gets any easier.
Christa Schloegel also has been through several deployments in 19 years with her husband, Maj. Erich Schloegel. But, the last time he left, his oldest daughter was just 5. This time, she’s 13.