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TRUEX marks homecoming for ACE Marine

20 May 2002 | Cpl. David A. Hudson 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit

For one Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 263 Marine, the unit's recent trip to Georgia was more than a training opportunity. It was a homecoming.

Gunnery Sgt. Michael Head, HMM-263 avionics chief, arrived in his hometown of Warner Robins along with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit which was conducting a Training in an Urban Environment Exercise.

Head said the training has given him an opportunity to visit with his mother, sister and two brothers who live in the area. "Last Sunday I went to church with my mom for Mother's Day."

"I enjoyed having him down here for Mother's Day. It was a fine time," said Head's mother, Lula.
The native Georgian's roots have been an advantage for the squadron as well. "It's good because I know where most of these places are and I can direct people," said Head.

Head has been from Hawaii to Beaufort, S.C. to Okinawa, Japan in the Marine Corps, but this is the first time the Corps has put him this close to home.
Head plans on getting together with his family at least one more time before the unit returns to North Carolina. He has already had a number of reunions on base as well.

"Here on base I've already seen a couple of people I went to high school with. They recognized me," said Head.

Head enlisted in the Marine Corps when he was 18 and says most of all he has enjoyed the opportunity the Corps has provided him to meet different people and influence the younger generation.

"When I first joined the Marine Corps, my brother was in the Army, and growing up around the Air Force, I just wanted something different," said Head, who reaches his twentieth year of service in December.

"I sure didn't expect him to join the Marine Corps, but I didn't talk him out of it either. It was what he wanted, so he did it," said Lula.

Head, who graduated from Warner Robins High School, isn't sure if he'll retire in the area, but said it is a possibility. "I don't know where I'll go, but I'm sure I'll end up back here someday."

The squadron was deployed to Robins AFB, Ga. in support of the 24th MEU as they conducted exercises in and around the Macon area in preparation for their upcoming deployment overseas. The squadron is scheduled to return to Marine Corps Air Station New River May 23.