POSTED: 12:32 pm PDT March 30, 2008
UPDATED: 12:38 pm PDT March 30, 2008
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- Family and friends threw a welcome home party for a Marine squadron based at Camp Pendleton on Saturday.

The Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 268 returned from a seven-month deployment to Iraq's Al Anbar province.

The squadron, called the Red Dragons, flew more than 6,000 hours during its deployment.

The Marines flew another 36 hours to get back home.

Capt. Lisa Steimmetz, a Marine pilot, said she doesn't think people don't understand how hard the Marines work.

"The Marines were awesome. For seven months, they worked 24-7, and it's just phenomenal what they did," Steimmetz said. "It's an amazing thing to be a part of."