View Full Version : Marines, Sailors Return to Calif.

06-21-02, 08:48 AM
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (AP) - Marine Sgt. Joe Gonzalez returned home Monday after nearly seven months supporting the war in Afghanistan to a baby he had never seen.

``I've waited for this for so long,'' said Gonzalez, 22, of Philadelphia, as he cradled his 4-month-old daughter.

More than 2,000 members of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit returned to Camp Pendleton aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard and two other warships, which departed for the Western Pacific and Arabian Gulf regions in December.

The unit suffered no casualties during its deployment, which included participation in Operation Anaconda, the largest battle yet in America's war on terrorism. Eight Americans from other units were killed in that action.

The 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit returned two days after the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit left Camp Pendleton for duty in the Arabian Sea.