Seabees return home to open arms and honor

Published: Mar. 21, 2013 at 11:55 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 22, 2013 at 1:53 PM CDT
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GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - After being stationed in Afghanistan for six months, more than 200 Seabees came home Thursday afternoon and reunited with family and friends.

The Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 133 was the last active duty battalion to be in Afghanistan. While deployed, they completed more than 70 projects.

"Yes, it's good that he's back," said a crying mom embracing her son.

"I can't tell you how excited I am. It's been six months, second time I've been deployed this year," said Mark Monton.

"I was just glad to see him. I wanted to check all his fingers and toes, just like when he was born," said Mark's mother, Annette Monton.

Dads saw their newborn babies for the first time.

"I was scared whether I'd pick her up and she would recognize me," said Jacob Port kissing his daughter, Ireland Grace.

"I wish I could've been here for the birth, but now that I'm here now, it doesn't matter. I'm just happy to finally meet him," said Richard Raftery.

Lieutenant Commander and Executive Officer for NMCB 133 Craig Clutts said this day of celebration is much deserved.

"I hope that everyone's very proud of what was accomplished by their Seabees over in Afghanistan, working not just for the Marines, but also for the Army, the Air Force," said Lieutenant Clutts.

The men and women said being the last active duty Seabee Battalion in Afghanistan brings them great honor.

"It's quite a historical moment for us because 133 was the first full active battalion that came into Afghanistan in 2003 and we're the last full active battalion out of Afghanistan in 2013," said Lieutenant Clutts.

Their service overseas will always be revered as they take on a new set of duties with loved ones.

"Go to gymnastics," said Lieutenant Clutts holding his daughter.

"Go home and play with my baby," said Port.

They said coming home to open arms makes them remember the reason the serve.

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