Two-hundred Marines, part of the 2nd Battalion, 23rd Marine regiment, just returned from a six month deployment that spanned four countries including Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and the Philippines. The city of Pasadena held a welcome home ceremony for the marines.
"In a disaster, these are also the faces that will save us, and they talked about in their civilian life, they're also our first responders. They're part of our community when they said we adopted them as the sons and daughters of our community, we really do. Even in the rain, we appreciate what they do. They sacrificed so I didn't have to," said Jennipha Nielsen, a Pasadena resident.
Nielsen lives in Pasadena and doesn't know any of the marines personally, but because of how visible they are in the community whether it be toys for tots, honor guard or military funerals, she says they're the heart of the city.
"When you're there, you miss home. Then, when you come home, having a city that appreciates you definitely makes you feel like you came home," said Giovanni Dallacqua, a Marine.
Dallacqua has been based at the Pasadena training center for 4 years. He lives and works in the area.
The 200 Pasadena Marine Reserves come to this training center one weekend a month where they prepare for their administration, intel and communications role supporting a battalion of 1,000 marines.
Some family members were in attendance for the ceremony including Dino and Linda Gutierrez. Their son Noah has served in the Marine Reserve for nine years.
"This is the best Mother's Day gift I can receive. He's made us very proud parents and I thank the city of Pasadena for honoring the second battalion," said Gutierrez.
Pasadena welcomes home 200 Marines following deployment