Gulfport Seabees return home from Afghanistan - - The News for South Mississippi

Gulfport Seabees return home from Afghanistan


By Elizabeth Vowell – email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) – The sun was shining overhead in the clear morning sky while the thermometer climbed to the mid-nineties. However, the crowd along the road wasn't paying attention to heat.  They were watching for the white busses.

"All yesterday and this morning I was like a nervous school girl waiting for my sweetheart to come pick me up from the prom," said Seabee wife Skye Ware.

"I love you to the moon and back," read one sign held by a smiling woman.  Across the lawn, a young boy herded his toddling sister around, both in matching white T-shirts with "My Daddy is a Hero," scrolled across the front. 

To the side, another little boy nervously clung to his grandmother's legs, a homemade flag in hand with "Hi Mommy. The wait is over," spelled out in bright foam letters. 

"It was hard being a single parent. I went through three years of having him home, and him being my partner in raising my children and then for four months, it was absolutely insane," said Ware. 

"There they are," said a woman in the crowd and everyone began cheering. 

Around the corner rolled a line of white school busses carrying 260 Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133.

As soon as the wheels stopped, the men and women jumped off the busses and into the outstretched arms of friends and families. 

"I'm really excited to have him home because Francine [our daughter] has been missing her daddy like crazy," said Stephanie Marlow after seeing her husband. "We've got Flat Daddy at home - the cardboard cutout of him - and she tries to carry him around the house and she gives him kisses.  It's good to finally have him home so she can give real daddy kisses."

The unit dubbed the Runnin' ‘Roos has been deployed in Afghanistan for nearly five months.  While deployed the unit was responsible for building facilities to support the troop surge, including building shower units, an airfield, and setting up power grids. 

"Average temperatures during the month of July were 137. [It was] a lot of hard work, crunch time trying to get things done so the command looks good for our tasking," said E5 Chris Ware of the 133. 

According to Public Affairs Officer Rob Mims, the unit also drilled a 1,210 foot artesian well for servicemen without running water.

The 260 Seabees that arrived Wednesday are the second group from the NMCB 133 to come home.  The last group is expected within a week. 

"It's good to be home. I got my kids and my wife back," said Ware.

"It's a big change.  You don't know what to look forward to. It's excitement, scared, nervous, all that stuff.  But I got everything I want now. It's good. I'm happy. I'm the happiest man in the world right now," said SW3 Christopher Marlow.    

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