Welcome Home

Welcome home Spc. Sean Forbes, Spc. Josh Hughes, and Spc. Joe Alexander

This Memorial Day, my friend Gail Rocco (mother of a Marine) and I took a road trip to Camp Atterbury in Indiana to welcome home these handsome soldiers from the 1192nd just returning from Iraq. The rest of the soldiers from the 1192nd were attending a celebration in Canal Winchester, Ohio.

Sean, Josh, and Joe are from different states, Louisiana, Colorado, and West Virginia respectively and are flying out from Indiana today. Because they are from different states, they were unable to attend the celebration in Canal Winchester.

So we had our own party! Yes, I made them hold balloons!! (What’s a Welcome Home party without balloons??)

It was wonderful to be able to get these soldiers off base and hang out. The best part was when there was a “delicious” silence as everyone tasted their steaks from Texas Roadhouse.

Gail and I were honored to be with these soldiers and thank them so much for their service to our country. God bless Sean, Josh, and Joe as they travel home today.

Gail Rocco with our soldiers

Some Heroes wear capes

thank you heroes_1It is so hard to say good bye.  I watched as a ten month old baby kept reaching out his arms to be held by his soldier father. As that father gave his child back to his wife, the little one raised his arms and reached out for his father again and again. That soldier closed his eyes and just hugged his small son.

On a long narrow table there were rows and rows of white pillow cases graced with a close up picture of each soldier with the stars and stripes behind them.  The Family Support Group had the pillow cases made for the  families.  I overheard a very young looking soldier ask if his pillow case could be shipped to his parents’ home because they were unable to come to the send off. I asked him, “Do you have any family here today?” He replied that no one was able to come. I asked if I could give him a hug.  He said yes. As I hugged him I said, “This hug is from your Mom.”

Today, I was invited to attend the send off of 180 soldiers from the 1192nd Engineer  Co.  This is my son’s old unit. (My son is not being deployed.) I watched as anxious family members filed in to honor their citizen soldiers and pray for their safe return.  While a field of flags waved in the audience, General Wayt told the soldiers to turn around and face their families. The General told the families, “These are your heroes.”  He told the audience how Time magazine called them “Persons” of the year. The General asked for a round of applause for what these men and woman were getting ready to do. He thanked the families for their unwavering support and the burden they would bear. Thank you to all of our soldiers and their families.

The motto of the 1192nd is Commence A Finir–from start to finish.  We will continue to hold our heroes in prayer–from start to finish– for the year they will be gone. Some heroes were capes, our heroes wear combat boots.