Family of South Bend's Company B Marines gather once every month to hear the latest news from Iraq, and to show support for each other while their loved ones fight a war. Lance Corporal Matt Kovelenko’s mother Mary says, “We've never missed one meeting. We've come to every single one and they've been wonderful.“It keeps you in touch, you're not alone. You know what's going on.”
“This has been our support to see everyone every week,” explains Jessica Lanzen.
Sunday, the group met for the last time to prepare for their Marines homecoming.
Company B is expected home before the end of the month.
Corporal Nathan Lanzen was married in April and deployed in August.
His wife Jessica says she cannot wait for him to get home.
“I don't think it's a reality to me yet. The thought of it's exciting, but it hasn't actually hit me that he's going to actually be home, and stay home.”
Company B has been stationed near Alanbar since august.
It is the second time the company has been to Iraq.
Major Celeste Ross says this deployment has been much more difficult than 2003's march into Baghdad. “We lost a Marine in October, we had four Marines come home injured. So there's been a lot more damage to the company. The stress had been much much more than it was last time.”
They are not home yet, but families say they are relieved an end is in sight, and now they are getting ready for the Marines to come home.
Veronica Collmen says, “My hero is Corporal Martin, and I love him. I'm very proud of him, and he definitely is my hero.”
Corporal Aaron Seal of Elkhart is the company's only casualty.
Seal was killed by sniper fire near Baghdad in October.