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11th Marine Expeditionary Unit returns home after 7 months of deployment

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Posted at 4:14 PM, Mar 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-02 20:41:27-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — "I was really worried when she was overseas."

Lexie Bejarano's grandfather says that he prayed every day for his granddaughter's safe return.

"Oh god," he recalls praying. "Keep her safe from that situation."

Bejarano's grandfather shares that he saw developments overseas, like the conflicts in Ukraine. He remembers not wanting his granddaughter to be put in harm's way.

"Today was one of the greatest days of my life," he says with tears in his eyes.

It was so great, the whole Bejarano family had to take part in this welcome home. They had handmade signs and banners.

"I feel loved," explains Lance Corporal Bejarano. "I was looking for the signs as soon as I stepped off."

"It's unfathomable," shares Brittanny McCraven. "Like I can't really describe it."

Hundreds of Marines from Camp Pendleton returned home Wednesday, after 7 months of deployment. Hospital Corpsman Second Class McCraven shares that she counted down the seconds until her feet were on land and her arms were around her baby girl.

"It was a lot of waiting around, looking at the news seeing where you could possibly go," explains McCraven. "And then obviously just missing your family wanting to talk to them as much as possible."

McCraven says that she has been watching airstrikes in Ukraine and the shelters in the subways. While she is grateful to be back in San Diego, she shares that serving overseas would be an honor.

"It's kind of a once in a lifetime opportunity to serve my country," she explains. "I joined nine years ago so I knew what I was signing up for when I did it. I became a corpsman because I wanted to serve with the Marines, and to be able to possibly save the lives of the people who signed up to give their lives to their country."

While she believes she would bravely face that task if asked, McCraven now, after so long, gets to enjoy the simple things.

When she was asked what she was looking forward to most, "A glass of wine and I just want to eat some tacos."

Her daughter Naomi, says she is just happy to have her mom back, "She's my superhero, and she always makes me happy."

Families of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit are just grateful to be reunited and together again. Roughly 2,500 Marines are expected to return to base this week.