Moonlighters return from WESTPAC

19 Mar 2004 | Lance Cpl. Justin V. Eckersley

The Moonlighters of Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 332 returned to Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort March 14, from a six-month Western Pacific Deployment.

The Moonlighters had been deployed for six months to various locations around the world, including Korea and Australia. However, some of the Marines were only deployed for the final two months of the tour.

“It wasn’t nearly as hard as when he went to boot camp,” said Bobby J. McCommon, father of Cpl. Ryan J. McCommon. “But it was still awful having him gone for those two months.”

McCommon and his family drove nine and a half hours from Middleton, Tenn.,  to greet their son as soon as he returned from the WESTPAC.

“I’ve been waiting for this moment ever since I left,” Cpl. McCommon said, upon being reunited with his family.

The family of Cpl. Corrine Ivy drove from Mobile, Ala., and made welcome home signs that they held up when the Marines began pouring out of their jet.

“It’s been pretty hard, but we understand she has a job to do,” said Richard Ivy,  her father.

As the Marines greeted their loved ones and friends, they began to pick up their lives where they left off. Master Sgt. Roger G. Werthman, administration chief, VMFA(AW)-332, brought back roses and a ring for his wife, Maura.

“I didn’t get a chance to give her a diamond ring when we first got married,” Werthman said. “So I’m making up for that now.”

Some of the Marines returning picked up ideas for vacation spots during their tour, as Lance Cpl. Joe F. Mills, armorer, MAG-31, did.

“I’m glad to be back, but I wouldn’t mind heading to Australia again on vacation,” Mills said.

After receiving their seabags and other gear, the Marines left the flightline to get some well-deserved rest.