A newly-reunited couple embrace and kiss passionately after being reunited on Memorial Day 2002. Nearly 2,300 Marines and sailors set foot on American soil on this day for the first time in nine months. They were welcomed by anxious families and, for 60 new fathers, newborns they had never seen. The 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit is the first major Marine ground force to return from the war in Iraq. During its time overseas, the 24th MEU was engaged in actions across the full spectrum of operations, from training, humanitarian assistance, and anti-terrorism missions in the Horn of Africa and Kenya to peacekeeping in Kosovo and combat and civil affairs in Iraq.