Marines Back from Deployment to Iraq - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Marines Back from Deployment to Iraq

Joseph O'Connor embraces his wife and daughter upon returning from Iraq. Joseph O'Connor embraces his wife and daughter upon returning from Iraq.
Bill Coates hugs son Tyler at MCBH in Kaneohe. Bill Coates hugs son Tyler at MCBH in Kaneohe.

(KHNL)  More than 100 marines and sailors with the 3rd Radio Battalion arrived at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe after serving nine months in Iraq.

"We've been separated for a long time and the kids have eaten all their little candy bars to count each week I was gone so we're glad to be back together," said Joseph O'Connor, who's with the unit.

"It's the hardest thing I ever had to do, because I was pretty sick with morning sickness, but you take everyday as it comes and do the best that you can," said O'Connor's expectant wife, Kelly.

Since last May, the unit has been in Iraq doing everything from communications to intelligence work.

"We were busy everyday, it didn't really get slow until we had that window when we were coming home," said Bill Coates.

But now, Coates and the rest of his unit can finally unwind with loved ones.

"I didn't really realize how much I missed him until he came back. It's just really good to see him," said Coates' son, Tyler.

It's a time to reconnect with family and friends, and a time to appreciate all of life's treasures.

"Oh it feels great, I haven't seen her in a good while, she's gotten so big, it just feels great to hear her again," said Ernesto Guevara, who was reunited with his baby daughter.

The marines and sailors will get about a month of rest and relaxation, before heading back to duty.

Powered by Frankly