02 September 2012

Welcome Home Gentlemen

Welcoming committee, Mt. Pleasant, S.C.

I was part of such an extraordinary homecoming event last night. My friend Mary Lamb had passed me in the hall at work last week and said if I wasn't doing anything on Saturday night I might like to take some pictures at a BBQ at her house. I didn't commit to anything until I took a look at the facebook page that had been set up. Holy cow. I was completely blown away and honored to be included.

A young man who they had known since childhood was coming back from serving in Afghanistan for eight months. He was landing with forty four other marines for their debriefing before they headed home. They were put up overnight at Wild Dunes and he got special permission to bring the entire group to Mary & Mark's home in Mt. Pleasant for a backyard BBQ.

When word got out the event blew up. Who gets to be part of something like this? We got to hug these boys before they even got home. A trolly was donated to pick them up, kegs of beer, welcome home cakes, a blue grass band and a motorcycle escort appeared. The VFW decorated the road with flags, kids painted Welcome Home posters. Neighborhood friends decorated and brought cookies. Publix, Piggly Wiggly, Gilligans and Atlantic Bread Company sent over platters of food among others. I emailed Channel 2 and Haley Hernandez was waiting to record the welcome.

The marines were completely stunned by the unexpected welcome. As one of the mothers waiting for news said on facebook, "this was the first real food they have had since January" and she thanked Mary and Mark on behalf of all the boy's mothers. Mary and Mark are pictured in the bottom photo on the right. Thanks for including me!