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Commanding Officer Update
Date: 1/10/2012

10 January 2012

Family and friends of 22d MEU,

Welcome to 2012!  The Sergeant Major and I hope you had an enjoyable and fulfilling Christmas and New Year’s holiday.  As we enter the final month of the deployment, many people find this phase of the deployment is sometimes the most difficult.  We are as anxious as you to finally return home.  As always, please keep a positive attitude – your Marines and Sailors continue to perform in superb fashion and your daily contributions are greatly appreciated.  Thank you!

Our departure from the Fifth Fleet Area of Operations is highlighted by our northbound transit through the Suez Canal.  Other than being a bit cooler outside; the canal is always a sight to see.  Once we enter the Mediterranean Sea, all three ships will proceed westward for two liberty ports before joining together for the trip across the Atlantic.  Fortunately, the MEU will see some new places – Malta, Barcelona, Naples, Rota, and Lisbon.  However, rest assured, the destination we are most looking forward to is North Carolina – we’ll be home soon.

Finally, the Advance Party has returned to Camp Lejeune and the projected return of the Main Body remains early February 2012 – exact dates will be released as we get closer.  For January, Frank “The FRO” and the 22d MEU Family Readiness Team have planned a Return and Reunion schedule complete with seminars, classes, and other events to assist you in preparing for the return of your loved one.  The return, while much anticipated by all of us, can also be accompanied by some tension and anxiety.  Please don’t feel alone or removed as there are numerous resources and other assistance available to help you.  If you have any questions about the MEU’s return, or for any Family Readiness matters, please contact Frank “The FRO” Smith at: frank.smith@usmc.mil or by phone in his office at 910-451-0421 or on his cell at 910-382-0896.  Another great source of information is the 22d MEU website at:  

As always, we truly appreciate the daily sacrifices you make for your Marine or Sailor.  Wish all of you the very best, and we’ll see you soon! 

Col Eric Steidl

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