Marines return home in time for Father’s day

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JACKSONVILLE N.C. (WNCT) – Around 100 Marines stationed at Camp Lejuene returned home Sunday, just in time for Father’s Day.

Hundreds gathered to welcome the Marines home. Those returning had been deployed for around six months. During that time, some, like Gabrielle Opert, had given birth.

“To have him coming back on Father’s Day makes it a little bit sweeter,” Opert said.

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Her husband had only seen their daughter through pictures and video. On Sunday, he was finally introduced officially.

“I didn’t know what to do at first, but it felt good. It felt really good,” said Christopher Opert.

He said he is hopeful this will be his only deployment, which will enable him to spend more time with his growing family. He said he’s most looking forward to raising and playing with his daughter.

Others, like Scott Howell, said having his son back on Father’s Day was the best gift he could have been given.

“They spend a lot of time away from their families and it’s a big thing,” Howell said.

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