USO welcomes 29 Palms Marines back from leave

"A few got married while they were on this leave. Some very touching stories."

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. -  The Fourth of July was a brief leave for the 29 Palms Marines.

"We had about 150 troops outbound of here for the Fourth of July weekend last Wednesday. We fed them and sent them on their way and today we do the same thing," USO volunteer Ron Meier said. 

You can still pack a lot into five days, though. Just ask Private First Class Justin Pulver. 

"I was visiting my brother for his wedding which was yesterday. I hung out with my girlfriend on Fourth of July, my brother and rest of my family we saw the fireworks up in Boston," Pulver said. 

"A few got married while they were on this leave. Some very touching stories. A few are expecting babies," USO center manager Don Phillip Smith said. 

As the country celebrated America, the military celebrated time at home. 

"A lot of time they're on base for months and months at a time. When they have time to go out of town, they're very exited to go," Meier said. 

USO volunteers highly anticipate the troops' return to the desert.

"When they come back its even more fun because they tell us about their weekend and what they did and the fun they had," Meier said. 

They welcome them back with quite the spread at the Palm Springs USO office next to the Palm Springs Airport.   

"They had burgers, hot dogs. Very inviting, very friendly place it's a nice place to be," Pulver said. 

Pulver said leaving home isn't so bad when you have the USO waiting for you. 

"It's beyond what I thought it could be, coming from volunteers. Everything here is free, the internet  is free, they make you feel right at home," Pulver said. 

The volunteers are equally appreciative. 

"This is our way to serve those who serve us and show our appreciate for everything the troops do from 29 Palms Marine base," Smith said. 

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