This Made Me Cry
When 450 Marine reservists marched onto a grassy field yesterday morning, not a smile could be seen in the shoulder-to-shoulder formation of veterans who had just survived seven months in one of Iraq's most dangerous places.
But in a surging, curving line of loved ones who nearly encircled them, no such stoicism was seen. The boisterous crowd cheered, yelped, whooped, and shouted 450 names at the First Battalion, 25th Marines.
And when the order to "Fall out!" was given, the Marines, finally home from the insurgent cauldron of Fallujah, fell into the long, clenching embraces of tearful spouses, parents, and siblings.
Corporal Leonardo Jorge of Methuen, his arms cradling a 4-month-old son he was seeing for the first time, gently kissed the baby's head, over and over, as his wife, Teresa, pressed her head against the Marine's back. "He's beautiful," said Jorge, 27. "I've dreamed of this day every day for seven months."