Hundreds of Marines return to San Diego from Afghanistan

Marines reunited with their families, friends

SAN DIEGO - Hundreds of Marines returned to San Diego on Monday. 

More than 200 troops from the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing who have been stationed in Afghanistan for a year were reunited with their families at MCAS Miramar.

Kristin Hurd used a zoom lens on her camera to spot her husband as he walked off the plane that brought him back home from Afghanistan. Tears of joy ran down her face as she held their two children and kissed her husband, Sgt. Rashad Hurd.

"Oh it feels wonderful, sir, I love being home," said Sgt. Hurd. 

Kristin Hurd said, "I'm just so glad he's home and safe." 

Her husband was in Afghanistan fixing air planes in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

"Supporting all the other Marines out there… trying to do what we can do to best get this fight done," he said. 

The homecoming was one of the largest this year.

"This might be the largest one we see coming, at least through here at Miramar this year," said 1st Lt. Tyler Balzer.

The Marines spent the past several months offering air support, air assault and transportation for troops in southern Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Many of the Marines who returned Monday are crew chiefs and pilots who operated CH-53 Sea Stallions and Ospreys.

It is still uncertain if they will have another deployment.

"It's hard to say," said Balzer. "I know there's been a lot of talk of what troop levels will look like in the future, and I think we're just going to stand by ready to support and whatever… ready to support and whatever that means to us."

For now, most are just going home to enjoy some much needed time with family and friends.

"Relax for the day, enjoy my kids, watch them, let her get some sleep," said Sgt. Hurd.

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