In-N-Out: That's What This Marine's Reunion's All About

Friends and family gathered at the Menifee In-N-Out to celebrate the return of Alexandria Ramire...

Friends and family gathered at the Menifee In-N-Out to celebrate the return of Alexandria Ramirez, a Marine who was deployed in Afghanistan for seven months.
When 19-year-old Lance Corporal Alexandria Martinez landed on American soil, she couldn't wait to sink her teeth into a juicy Double-Double from In-N-Out Burger.

Afghanistan certainly isn't known for cheeseburgers and fries, so American Marines like Martinez must endure their deployment without the comfort of their country's favorite fast food. Luckily, there's an In-N-Out located on Haun Road in Martinez's hometown of Menifee.

On Wednesday, July 16, Martinez returned to Southern California, being greeted by loved ones at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar (right). That night, her friends and family met at In-N-Out to celebrate the Marine's safe return from her seven-month deployment.

"She just wanted to get on American soil and enjoy a hamburger," said her aunt Terina Ramirez, who attended the celebration.

About 50 people crowded into the burger joint to show their support for Martinez, an Air Support Operations operator, who left home in January to serve her country. While in Afghanistan, Martinez provided aircraft support for troops on the ground.

"I want the community to know that we have young people in our town who are being deployed and fighting for our freedom," said Ramirez.

Ramirez helped spread the word about Martinez's homecoming party, which was planned by a family friend, Pam Willis. She told Martinez she would treat her to anywhere she wanted to go, and Martinez chose her favorite burger joint. Then Willis thought it would be an even better idea to invite "all of Menifee" to join them. She created a public Facebook event and invited over 100 people, but those who stopped by were mostly family and friends from church.

Martinez spent the evening dashing around the restaurant, exchanging hugs and catching up with friends while they ordered Double-Doubles in her honor.

Ramirez, like everyone else at the party, is proud of Martinez. They're especially proud because she's a female Marine who was able to find success as a woman in what many consider the most challenging military branch.

"With her training and her independence, she's just a very strong young lady," said Ramirez. "She's such a great mentor for young people today, and she's very driven."