August 7, 2014 --
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Montreal J. Newkirk, Marine Corps Community Services officer, Combat Logistics Battalion-7, Combat Logistics Regiment-1, 1st Marine Logistics Group, returned home Saturday after an eight-month deployment to Afghanistan.
He was welcomed home by family members and Marines at the Southwest Georgia Regional Airport in Albany, Georgia.
While stationed at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, Newkirk provided a broad spectrum of services to Marines, coalition forces and Department of Defense personnel including MCCS’s relations equipment (communication); morale, welfare and recreation support (relaxation and fitness) and Marine Corps Exchange support (personal hygiene items).
“My responsibility was to maintain MCCS’s relations equipment, which included setting up Internet and phone centers, and provide morale, welfare and recreation support such as board games to video games for Xbox and PlayStations to sports equipment including baseballs and basketballs,” he said.
“The MCCS equipment increased morale among the Marines, coalition forces and Department of Defense personnel and helped them stay connected with loved ones by allowing them to call home or use the Internet to Skype or do college homework,” Newkirk added.
Newkirk stated the MWR equipment was another way to assist those forward deployed in winding down and relaxing.
“Gym equipment was also provided, including weights such as kettle bells and dumb bells, to help (people) stay in shape while deployed,” he said.
Newkirk was also in charge of providing MCX support.
“The Marine Corps Exchange provided an opportunity to replenish personal hygiene items such as extra soaps and socks, items (people) could not get from supply,” he continued.
The native of Rocky Point, North Carolina, estimated making four to six missions a month providing Internet service, MWR support and MCX merchandise to tens of thousands of Marines, DoD personnel and coalition forces.
In addition to his duties as the MCCS officer, Newkirk also oversaw the Warrior Express Service Team.
Newkirk said the Warrior Express Service Team had a joint mission manned by MCCS, postal and disbursing Marines.
“We loaded containers with merchandise and took it to Marines, coalition forces and Department of Defense personnel at forward-observation bases to purchase,” he said. “While we were there, those in the field were able to withdraw cash from a disbursing clerk to make purchases. The missions provided an opportunity to mail packages home before re-deployment or to consolidate items collected.”
Newkirk now plans to relax and take some time off to spend with his family and get back in the flow of things.
“I’ve got a little girl that will be starting kindergarten,” he said.
Newkirk’s wife said she is “relieved and happy he is finally home.”
She said the family had been counting down the days and nights until his return.
“Now we don’t have use the iPad to say good night,” she said to her children. “He can tuck you into bed tonight.”
Lt. Col. Daniel Bates, executive officer, MCLB Albany, welcomed Newkirk home on behalf of the base command.
“It’s good to have Chief Warrant Officer Newkirk back,” Bates said. “He has been gone since December 2013. He is a big part of our team and I know he is glad to see his family. We missed him.”