A Marine returns home...

Posted: Dec 18, 2008 06:55 PM

Updated: Dec 18, 2008 06:57 PM

By Jay Polk - bio | email

December 18, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - For Tracy Morton, it's been a long wait. Her husband has been away for a while.

"He left for training in May, and he left for Afghanistan the first of June," Morton said.

And with her husband's flight delayed by fog, there was nothing to do but wait and wait and wait. But finally came the moment that made all of the waiting worthwhile.

Tracy, her two sons and a contingent of Marines greeted Major Christopher Morton as he returned home. Now he's looking forward to spending the holidays with his family.

But while one Marine returned home from the Middle East today, another group of soldiers is getting set to go to the region in the next few months."

The 48th Brigade of the Georgia Army National Guard, a support unit, is set to go to overseas in June. It won't be the first time. According to Sgt. Don Whitmire of the Georgia Army National Guard: "the 48th Brigade has been deployed in support of S49 to Bosnia, and then we've also been deployed to OIF 3 in Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom."

And for the families who are left behind, the deployment can be tough. Tracy certainly missed having her husband around the house.

He did "general chores, do the bills, he keeps track of the bills, he does help out with the laundry."

For Major Morton, other than his family, it was the great bonding moment between a parent and child that sports can provide that he missed.

"The thing I missed the most was the football season, while the boys were playing in high school."

And the Marines have taken steps to help loved ones who are here in the states.

"We just do anything we can to make sure that they're provided for from an information standpoint or if there is an actual need that the Marine Corps needs to provide for them that we can do that," said Major Kerry Mengelkoch from MCLB Albany.

The National Guard also has help for families on the home front.

"We now have a full time family readiness group leader, that actually works out of Albany for our region," said Sgt. Whitmire.

So that the families that are left behind know that they are not forgotten.