Around 40 Lubbock marines returned home Saturday afternoon after serving a tour of duty in Afghanistan.
The Marines were a part of the Marine Corps Reserve center located on East Regis Street, out by Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport. They arrived around 3:45 p.m. and were revealed to their families from behind a lifting door, accompanied by a chorus of cheers.
The reserve center sends around 45 Marines into battle every year to year and a half.
Last weekend two Marines from the reserve center were awarded Purple Hearts for wounds sustained in battle.
These Marines had a long journey home, stopping in Kazakhstan, then Germany, then heading to Camp Pendelton, about 45 minutes north of San Diego, before Captain Eric Pardo of the reserve center went to pick them up and escort them back to Lubbock.
It was an emotional day for the Marines and their family members as many kisses were given, tears were shed and one marine even proposed to his girlfriend.
Kids held signs saying how much they loved their father or mother.
Lance Corporal Eric Piaz said it was great to be back home. "It's my first deployment being away, it's pretty tough, so just being back home with my family is a great feeling."
The Marines now have a 96-hour break before they report back to work on Wednesday. Until then, they'll be enjoying some much-needed rest and relaxation.
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