ABERDEEN, Md. (WJZ) –A year in two theaters of war ends in an emotional homecoming for members of Maryland’s National Guard.
Alex DeMetrick reports difficult separations were bridged in an instant.
You know how it’s going to end, even if you can’t hear it.
After goodbyes one year ago:
“Oh, how does it compare? Well at least this is a happy day. Last year was a sad day,” said Stephanie Workman, wife.
And the last morning of waiting came at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Harford County with families of 80 Maryland Army National Guard members.
“They worked throughout Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Brig. Gen. Peter Hinz, Maryland Army National Guard. “They supervised and managed maintenance for all the aviation units in both countries.”
And families managed in their own ways.
Mary Sinclair carried a cut-out of her husband nicknamed “Flat Bill,” using it in photos for events he missed.
“Family and friends have always been there for support during snowstorms and hurricanes and earthquakes and everything,” said Sinclair. “But I survived it. It’s been a long hard year, but it’s wonderful to have him home.”
For families, technology like Skype made a long year a little shorter.
“Definitely being deployed is rough on the family, but thankfully we’ve got the technology to stay in contact with one another,” said Kimberly Harper, daughter.
And what did all that high-tech come down to? Not even rain could wash out a moment like this, as the buses that took them away brought them home, and 12 months apart ended with a single word: dismissed.
“Everybody’s all excited about being home,” said MSgt. William Fowler, Maryland Army National Guard. “It’s good to see everybody, family members and all. It’s super. It’s great.”
But then, you knew how it was going to end.
While it may not be uppermost in their minds right now, returning National Guard members are in line for a unit citation for excellence.