MCA personnel return from overseas

Photo by Carly Farrell

Photo by Carly Farrell

ALBANY -- Three civilian employees with Maintenance Center Albany are back to spend the holidays with their families.

Robert Smith was welcomed back by his mother and two daughters, ages 10 and 18, Wednesday at the Southwest Georgia Regional Airport.

"We are over there to support the Marine Corps," Smith, who works with the Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected program, said upon his return. "It was great."

Smith, who is a single parent, was in Kuwait for 13 months. Being a single parent adds an element that possibly makes taking the journey all the more difficult.

"It's as hard as anything, but I like being over there," he said. "It's all about the warfighter.

"I like being over there. I like being about supporting the Marine Corps and other (military) branches."

This was Smith's first deployment. He is scheduled to go back for another deployment after the first of the year.

Smith grew up in a military family, which prepared his loved ones to adjust to his absence.

"We were Navy, so my husband was gone a lot," said his mother, Edith Smith. "I feel we're in the military again.

"We're glad to have him back, even if it's just for a little bit."

Another member of the welcoming party was MCA Commander Col. Terry Reid.

"What they do is important," Reid said. "The work they do is ensure (military personnel) have the best equipment available.

"I want to be here to welcome (personnel) back."

Some of the other personnel coming back this month are temporarily returning from their current deployments in order to spend the holidays with their families. One of them, Charles Tinson, also came back Wednesday from Kuwait.

Another person returning is Brandon Pate. Due to his flight being canceled, he was expected to drive himself home Wednesday, Reid said. He is returning from Afghanistan.