Posted on December 18, 2012 at 9:19 AM
Tuesday, Dec 18 at 10:35 AM
VIRGINIA BEACH -- The Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group returns to port just in time for Christmas.
The USS Gunston Hall will be the first ship frou the group to return.
It will arrive at Little Creek-Fort Story Tuesday.
The group was supposed to come home in November, but were called back to duty.
Part of the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group, including the USS Gunston Hall, the USS Iwo Jima, and the USS New York left in March, prepared for a long deployment.
The sailors were scheduled to be out for an 8 month stretch.
"It's very sad, but that's something that you have to live with and that is something that he's chose to do with his life and I intend to support him in every way," said Jeff Brus.
"I'm very proud of him, but I'm sad he's going to be gone for that long," said Casey Avery.
However, in November, with the end in sight and already on their way home, the amphibious ready group got word that they were needed.
As tension grew in Israel, the Navy turned them around, sending the ships back to the Eastern Mediterranean to be on standby for any future tasking.
"I'm a navy spouse of twelve years and with that comes a lot of responsibilities, and I'm very proud of my sailor, I really am, and all the sailors and all the marines onboard our ship and we all know that we have a mission and that mission may take a little bit longer but that's what we're there for," said Christina Lara.
The Gunston Hall saw tension of a different kind in September when the Commander relieved the Command Master Chief for alleged misconduct.
The USS Iwo Jima and the USS New York will return on Thursday.
The Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group returns on Wednesday, and Carrier Air Wing Seven aboard the USS Eisenhower will return Tuesday.