Some local marines were showered with love and appreciation Sunday. About 100 people gathered for Family Day at the Gulfport Seabee Base to honor members of the Fourth Amphibious Assault Batallion.
They've served side-by-side in combat zones, but food, family and fellowship were some of the only things on the front line at Sunday's Family Day gathering.
Members of the 4th Amphibious Assault Batallion returned from a 10-month deployment just a few weeks ago. It was a tough assignment. They lost three members of their unit during the deployment.
"It's difficult to deal with sometimes, but it's days like this that help us remember what it's all about, our families, our communities, it makes it that much easier for us to put on our uniforms everyday," said LCPL Nathan Galster.
The marines were also deployed when Katrina hit.
"A lot of us couldn't contact our families for three weeks, even more. There was nothing we could do, unfortunately, so we just had to carry on with our mission," said LCPL Galster.
But eventually, Lance Corporal Galster did get in touch with his family, including his mother Lucy, who lives in Long Beach. She says her son's deployment has just made get togethers like this one even more special
"It does pull us closer together. We're a very close family. We talk all the time, if we can. It brings us closer during the holidays, and we do appreciate each other," Lucy said.
And that's what Family Day is all about, honoring local heroes who are also fathers, brothers and sons.