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Marine Corps Recruiting Command

Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va.

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Hometown hero lands in backyard

By Cpl. Wil Acosta | | May 28, 2005

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MCAS Cherry Point

MCAS Cherry Point (Photo by Cpl. Wil Acosta)

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6/1/2005 17:31

6/1/2005 17:31 (Photo by Cpl. Wil Acosta)

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6/1/2005 17:45

6/1/2005 17:45 (Photo by Cpl. Wil Acosta)

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1ST MARINE CORPS DISTRICT, GARDEN CITY, N.Y. -- Imagine what it would be like to ride in a Marine helicopter over your hometown, knowing that you were going to fly over your house and fast-rope into your neighborhood park as hundreds of people, including your family, watched.

This was the case for Lance Cpl. Christian Dominguez, a native of East Meadow, N.Y., who was one of about 20 Marines from 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment who took part in a simulated helicopter raid on New York’s Eisenhower Park during fleet Week, May 28.

During the simulated raid, CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit dropped Marines in several parks throughout New York as part of an exercise designed to show New Yorkers how Marines are inserted into combat. 

Dominguez happened to be one of the Marines dropped in his hometown, where his family and friends anxiously awaited his arrival.

“It’s an awesome feeling to be at home right now,” said the Dominguez who only recently returned from a tour in Iraq.  “I can’t believe I was just flew over my house.”

Dominguez didn’t have to pinch himself to see if he was dreaming.  The warm hugs from his father, Dino, and the kisses on his cheek from his mother, Mary, and his sister Kayla were enough to prove he was really home.

It’s great to have him home,” said Mary Dominguez, beaming with pride for her son.  “He’s become such a confident young man since becoming a Marine.  We’re very proud of him.”

Lance Cpl. Dominguez has every right to be confident.  As a rifleman with 1/8 Bravo Company, he and his fellow Marines saw their share of combat while patrolling the streets of Fallujah.

However, according to his father, Dominguez refuses to let that confidence become arrogance. 

“He was interviewed by one of the local T.V. stations and they asked him how it felt to be a hero,” said Dino Dominguez.  “He told the woman that he didn’t feel like a hero.  He said the real heroes are still out there.”

The average man his age might have a hard time remaining humble after a homecoming that involved jumping out of helicopters, crowds of people, and interviews with the local media.  But, Dominguez seems to be taking it all in stride.  Perhaps that’s because Dominguez is no average man … he’s a Marine.

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