Township embraces returning Marine

March 14, 2008 3:44:45 PM PDT
There was big welcome home and honors today for a young Marine returning from duty in Iraq. Young and old lined the street in Haddon Twp. Today, with open arms for a young man who decided years ago he wanted to be a Marine.

The white stretch limo arrived at 123 Elgin Avenue in Westmont, amidst patriotic sounds and colors.

23-year-old, Marine Corporal, Joseph Moffett thought he was coming to his dad's home for a family portrait.

After hugs from family and friends, Corporal Moffett was honored with the Camden County Freedom Metal, presented by the County Board of Freeholders.

Joseph Michael Moffett enlisted in the Marines right after graduation from Audubon High School in 2003.

He served in several humanitarian missions in the Philippines and in Sri Lanka, after the tsunami.

He became an aviation electronics counter measures technician abdwas later deployed to the combat zone in Iraq.

For Mom, Diane, and dad, Michael, it's just a blessing to have their "Joey" home.

"I'm not going to let him leave my side," Diane Moffett, the mother, said.

"There are soldiers getting killed and hurt out there and to have one come home safe, I think he needed to have something like this," Michael Moffett, the father, said.

Today's celebration was a collective effort, but it got a big boost from Gunny Sergeant George Perkins.

"I'm a retired Marine of 20 years and I feel a U.S. Marine who fights for his country should have a welcome home and we're doing it the right way in Haddon Township," Perkins said.

Also honoring Corp. Moffett today was 85 year-old John Laurello, a WWII vet, the first off the first landing craft in Iowa Jima.

Moffett was humbled by today's outpouring of affection and respect, giving homage to his fellow Marines.

"There are many more out there that do the same thing I do, if not more. I'm just a small part of the big picture," Moffett said.

Corporal Moffett will be home for just 9 days; his tour of duty ends in May and, though, he loves the Marines, he told Action News he will not re-enlist.

Instead, he plans to join the police force where he is now stationed in San Diego.