Circle of life

20 Sep 2011 | Lance Cpl. Rubin J. Tan

Six months ago, Cpl. Mark Lamb departed on a journey to Afghanistan and had many life changing experiences.

Upon his return, Sept. 19, his world as he knew it would not be the same.

Lamb, a Marine Wing Support Squadron 273 motor vehicle operator, was augmented to MWSS-272 of Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C., as part of their seven-month deployment to Camp Dwyer, Afghanistan.

The New Orleans native’s return to the Air Station was both joyous and somber. While on deployment, Lamb’s third child was born and his grandmother passed.

“The Marines who return from deployments experience a lot of stress and to see someone familiar when you return means everything,” said Derrick Wells, the Sweathogs’ family readiness officer.

Waiting outside the armory: the Sweathogs’ commanding officer, along with the sergeant major and family readiness officer stood and waited for his arrival along with members of the United Service Organization and Yellow Foot Prints Detachment of the Beaufort, S.C., Marine Corps League.

“When Marines get back from combat, it is important to have commanding officers and leaders present because it sends the Marines a message of importance,” said Wells.

Upon arriving, USO members surrounded Lamb with many thanks. Lamb also received gift bags filled with baby wipes, bottles, toys and baby clothes.

No family members were present during Lamb’s return as his wife and two children were in New Orleans with their new daughter, Melody, born just four days before his return, weighing 7 pounds, 5 ounces.

“Everyone said she looks like me because we share the same eyes and ears,” said Lamb.

Along with a beautiful, healthy newborn, Lamb also found out about the passing of his grandmother.

Lamb was unable to immediately reunite with his family after his return but the Sweathogs’ command did their best to take care of Lamb due to his situation and were able to expedite his check-in process in one day.

Lamb was on the road to see his family by Sept. 21 as he began a nearly 12-hour drive to New Orleans.

“The first thing he did after walking through the door was he ran to pick [his newborn] up and wanted to feed her and change her diaper,” said Megan Kraemer, Lamb’s wife, from New Orleans. “I am glad he is back home because last year he was deployed with the 24th [Marine Expeditionary Unit].”

Lamb is going to spend his leave with family for the next few weeks until his return to the Air Station.