By Cpl. John Robbart III
| | August 16, 2012
NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO - The 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit welcomed family members to the USS Peleliu; the flagship of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group, which the unit would soon deploy on, during the MEU Family Day, August 12.
The event featured a self-guided tour of the USS Peleliu along with refreshments and a professional photographer for the families to commemorate the experience.
“This is our home away from home for the next seven to eight months,” said Col. Scott D. Campbell, commanding officer, 15th MEU, in a speech addressing the unit’s family members. “The Marines and sailors of this unit are a tough group of men and women for living in these conditions.”
The tour visited areas such as the well deck, the hangar bay, troop berthing, the medical facility, the mess deck, the flight deck and the ship’s gym.
“This tour offered me great insight into how my Marine will live during this deployment,” said Kelly A. Lyndon, mother of Cpl. John Robbart III, Command Element, 15th MEU. “I am really glad the unit afforded us this opportunity to visit the ship,” added the New Jersey native.
While families toured the ships, one of the Marines planned a unique marriage proposal for his girlfriend. Staff Sgt. Victor R. Sanchez, the platoon sergeant for Combat Logistics Battalion 15’s engineer detachment, was getting his photo taken on the flight deck with his girlfriend and son when he asked the crowd for their attention.
“Excuse me ladies and gentlemen, can I have your attention please,” said Sanchez, as he took the spotlight for a brief moment.
Sanchez dropped to a knee and pulled out an engagement ring for his now fiancée Shannon M. Henderson.
“I was completely shocked,” said Henderson. “This has got to be the best day of my life.”
Sanchez said he planned the proposal for the past two months.
“What better place to propose for our last voyage together than on a ship preparing for its final voyage,” said Sanchez.
The 15th MEU is comprised of approximately 2,400 Marines and sailors currently preparing for their upcoming deployment this fall.