Posted: 10:42 p.m.
Families welcomed home about 200 Marines to MCAS Yuma Monday afternoon in an emotional homecoming.
The Marines from VMA-311 had been at sea for about eight months.
Most of the time, they could not tell their families where they were located; but now, these Marines are reunited safe and sound with their families.
"I love him, and I'm so happy he's back. He's my heart. I love him, and I missed him," said Lisa Beckenhaupt, as she tightly held her Marine son.
"I'm glad to be back--happy," said Kevin Beckenhaupt, who then hugged and gave his mom a kiss on the cheek.
Based at sea, the Marines were deployed with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit.
"We were in the ocean patrolling, basically, on the other side of the world looking out for other countries that needed help, doing humanitarian assistance, things like that, and also providing security when it was needed," said Capt. Herbie Beyran, an operations officer.
Now, families of the Marines can breathe a little easier knowing their loved ones are home safely.
"It's a lot harder than the last one we went through. She really had a hard time with understanding why Daddy can't come home right now," said Kacie Sheppard while holding her young daughter.
The time apart for these families is tough--some Marines even missing the birth or first few months of their children's lives.
"I miss him and I love him," said 4-year-old Rachel McRee. I never get to see him when he's gone."
Sgt. Jonathan McRee said he's looking forward to making up for lost time.
"Getting to know my kids again. It's been a while."
Although the time apart was difficult, families said they could not be more proud of their Marines.