Retrograde is the return of deployed Marines, better known as homecoming for our Marine parents, spouses, family and friends. Retrograde includes return from MEUs/floats as well as in-country deployments (overseas stations)
Obtaining accurate information:
For Marines that will fly home, if you get a phone call from your Marine, listen for the terminology "Flight Window" and write down every detail of that. Please, take everything you hear with a grain of salt; even news from your Marine. The Marines are subject to rumor as well. Homecoming news is not official until it comes from the mouth of the USMC. Patience is an operative word here.
Be careful of rumors. Rumors seem to travel faster than news. Even the Marines in the field are subject to rumors and unclear information. Be careful of passing on rumors and try to verify any information that is given to you 'second-hand'. Label unverified information as a potential rumor prior to passing it along.
It takes a long time to move troops. It took over 90 days to get 300,000 troops to the Middle East and it's going to take a while to get them back. Even when our Marines get the official word that they are returning home, the flight or ship home could take a while to schedule.
The military is constantly planning. Military planning is in constant revision based on an almost endless number of factors and situations and world events. Because of this, it will take a decent amount of time to firm up plans for bringing troops home.
Prioritizing troop movement to home. Troops with medical needs and former POWs will take priority over all other troop movements to return home.
Continue to pray. Please keep praying for the safe return of our Marines and the troops, all the way to the United States of America.
Helpful Information on Homecoming
Homecoming Workbook: Heart On the Home Front Written by the authors of "Down Range to Iraq and Back" (Dr. Bridget Cantrell and Chuck Dean), this workbook is designed to be used in group settings but is also a useful tool preparing anyone for homecoming and possible changes you might expect in your loved one. I highly recommend using the book and passing it on to others.
Marine Corps Return & Reunion Guide This is published by the USMC and is a PDF file that you can download and print for reference. Includes information for married Marines, single Marines, and family members. It's very informative. I strongly suggest reading it cover to cover.