Happy homecoming for MCLB workers returning from Iraq - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Happy homecoming for MCLB workers returning from Iraq

June 12, 2007

Albany  --  After a 63-day mission to Iraq, seven civilian workers from Albany's Marine Base returned home Tuesday night.

They went to the war zone to help protect Marines in the firing line. They upgraded the Marine Corps' Light Armored Vehicles.

Now that the job is finished. They're thrilled to be back in south Georgia. Emotions ran high as families anxiously greeted loved ones finally returning home from Iraq. "We've never been a part from each other," says Rosha Layfield.

For Layfield, not having her husband, Jason, around was far from easy.  "I'm a stay at home mom, so not having him come home everyday, it's been hard," she says.

And the distance wasn't just hard for her, but also for the couple's two small kids. "They missed they're daddy a lot. Every time the dog barks, they ask, 'Is that daddy? Is that daddy," says Layfield.

And today, it certainly was.  "I am real happy to be home. It's been two months for me to be away from my family," says Jason Layfield.

This was Jason's first trip to Iraq--an experience he won't soon forget. "We got to see a lot of the stuff over there, the good stuff that they were doing, and we was a part of it," he says.

Jason and his team worked twelve hours a day upgrading 46 of the Marines' Light Armored Vehicles--which in turn will keep Marines better shielded from harm's way. "We talked to a couple of Marines who are using them and they said the bad guys are having a hard time getting to them," he says.

"It was critically important for them to go over there and do this mission," says Trent Blalock.

Deputy Commander Trent Blalock says his maintenance team focuses on one primary goal when deploying overseas. "Fighting that global war on terrorism, so that the war fighter can do what they do," says Blalock.

And families, like Rosha Layfied, have nothing but admiration for the work these civilian-Marines do. "I'm very proud of him though, for what he did do," says his wife.

And now that their mission has been accomplished, most are ready: "to go home now," says Jason.

And Rosha hopes he won't be deployed again at least any time soon. "I don't want him to go off again," she says.

Four more MCLB workers are expected to arrive back in Albany in about two weeks.They remained in Iraq to complete additional minor work on Marine equipment.

On June 22nd, three welders from the MCLB maintenance center will deploy to Iraq for six months.

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