Ocean Springs Marine Returns Home - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

06/21/03

Ocean Springs Marine Returns Home

Friday, another Iraqi group threatened to launch attacks on US soldiers until they were forced to leave. US Marine Dennis McGrue, Jr. and other members of his platoon remember similar attacks when they were in Iraq, but despite the dangers, the Marine Master Sergeant says the risks he took overseas were worth taking.

Three war veterans gathered at the McGrury family home in Ocean Springs Saturday. The last member to join this rank within the family was Master Sergeant Dennis McGrury, Jr., an Ocean Springs native who just returned from Operation Iraqi Freedom.

McGrury has plenty of photographs from his time overseas, but his most vivid memories are the images etched forever in his mind; like the humanitarian efforts of his fellow marines, and the plight of the Iraqi people.

"They didn't have any food because Saddam had pretty much kept these outer areas, and I think it was the Shiites, out toward the Eastern part of Iraq, they weren't getting too much food. So these young marines are down to one meal a day, and they're handing out their food," McGrury said.

McGrury made national headlines after discovering a large cache of guns just outside Baghdad; weapons that could have been used against US forces or nearby Iraqi villagers.

McGrury has been back in the states for a month now, but said securing the freedom of the Iraqi people is not yet done.

"Everything that has been taken away from them before, and now there's nothing there to support them, so getting aid in, that's what my marines are doing now," McGrury said.

Now that he's home, McGrury is enjoying his own freedom, with a greater appreciation for the small things in life, like front porch conversations and playing with the family dog "Patches." Liberties he and his family enjoy because of the ultimate sacrifices of days past.

By Toni Miles

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