Photo Information

Marines with Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 31, make their approach to the Marine fighter Attack Squadron 122 hangar in order to be reunited with their families after a six-month deployment, July 18. during the deployment, the MALS-31 detachment was an augment with MALS-40 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Photo by Cpl. Brady Wood

MALS-31 detachment returns

25 Jul 2013 | Cpl. Brady Wood

A detachment of Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 31 Marines returned from their sixmonth deployment in support
of Operation Enduring Freedom, July 18.
The MALS-31 detachment while augmented with MALS-40, provided aircraft, ordnance and maintenance support throughout
the deployment.
“The tempo was really high during this deployment,” said Cpl. Tristan Dion, an avionics consolidated automated support system Marine for MALS-31. “Because of that I was able to focus more on work and getting the job done versus being away from home.”
According to Dion, the most beneficial aspect of the deployment was being able to work with different Marines.
“It was nice being able to work with Marines from different walks of life,” said Dion. “It was great being able to see how they do
things and being able to work on many different platforms.”
During their time away from the states, even though Marines weren’t able to be with their families, they coped by talking to
them as often as possible.
“I was able to talk to my family every night,” said Staff Sgt. Phillip Dixon, avionics quality assurance for MALS-31. “Even though
it helped talking to them, the deployment was still pretty stressful.”
Brittany Brown, spouse of Staff Sgt. Jason Brown, says that during her husband’s deployment, he was able to see the birth of his daughter Sophia.
“Before she was born we got the ok from the doctors to allow us to video chat using skype,” said Brown. “It was great because even though he wasn’t there with us it was
still great that he was able to see it happen.”
The Marines of MALS-31 weren’t the only ones affected during this deployment, their spouses were affected as well.
“It’s been difficult waiting for my husband to get back,” said Heather Perez, spouse of Sgt. Sergio Perez. “I had to keep our kids occupied and they kept on asking me
‘where’s daddy?’”
“I’ve been waiting for my husband to return for a while,” said Brown. “We are very excited because this is the first time that he and his new daughter will meet each other.”
The spouses were very enthusiastic about finally being able to see their husbands return from overseas.
“Words can’t describe how excited I am to see my husband again,” said Perez. “While he was gone I was doing whatever I could to stay busy, but now I’ll be able to be with
him again.”
“I am really excited to see him again,” said Brown. “We have another daughter that wasn’t walking before he left so I think there may be some things that he will have to
adjust to, but overall I’m glad he’s home.”
Another detachment of MALS-31 Marines, which is also augmented with MALS-40, is scheduled to return January 2014.