Local Marine surprised with special greeting ahead of first deployment

NOW: Local Marine surprised with special greeting ahead of first deployment

SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- It’s a feeling that no one can prepare for, unless you’re a fellow Marine. 

“Even though your training is excellent, you can’t prepare yourself to train for deployment,” says local Marine veteran, Pastor Mario Sims. 

On Monday, Christian Pletcher got the surprise of a lifetime leading up to his first deployment. 

Friends, family, and fellow military service members all turned out to support him while seeing him off. 

“Some of these guys I don’t even know but it felt really good to be supported,” says Chirstian Pletcher, a local Marine. 

First, the Marine Riders of Michiana escorted him from his home to the departure drop-off at South Bend International Airport. 

Little did he know, another group was waiting to greet him as he got out of the car, including a few folks he met while volunteering and washing dishes at the local League in high school. 

“I told them I’d get there and just to prove them right; to come back in my dress blues and show them I made it, it feels good and rewarding,” Pletcher says.

His Marine Corps brothers know what it’s like to say goodbye to loved ones while powering through all the uncertainty about what’s to come. 

“Even though we’re different ages, we’ve all experienced it at one point or another in our service in the Marine Corps,” Pastor Sims shares. 

“I’m a little stressed because I’m leaving family, but I’m excited because it’s something new,” shares Pletcher. 

The fellow Marines shared their words of wisdom and advice to Pletcher as he embarks on his journey and joins the family. 

“We are a family that he’ll be laughing at corny jokes, eating bad food with, and enduring some really hard times,” Pastor Sims explains. “What we did was share our love to him, so he knows we’re going to hold him up in prayer until he comes home safely.”  

“You can never stick to a certain feeling about it, you just have to be open-minded about it,” Pletcher admits about his deployment. 

He tells ABC57 he’s wanted to be a Marine since the second grade, and he gave permission to share he is being deployed to the Mediterranean Sea. 

Share this article: