We woke him up early, "Early" meaning "before noon." His girlfriend, Keri, helped, and he looked a little like this when he saw her.
Yeah, he was dazed. He looked a little dazed later, when he met up with the Warrior Watch Riders and our local emergency services guys.
They let him ride in the fire engine. I wonder if he mentioned the fireman border in his bedroom when he was 3? I know he got to push the siren.
Local businesses and the American Legion were out on the streets. This is a shot in front of the beauty and barber shops; the one waving is responsible for my own lovely coiffure!
He got to speak. He didn't say much, maybe 10 words. He isn't a big talker when he's not on the spot. (The Marine had heard about this, and just showed up. His name is Owen, and he was in Scouts with Matthew and Ethan. Ethan remembered him as "one of the Scouts who had too much sugar at Scout camp one day.")
A song was sung.
Finally, he got to meet the school kids
and relax. Relaxing was a good thing. (He's the one in the back, in the beret, looking at the pretty girl. That would be Keri.)
As a mom, I wondered if he would enjoy it. He's definitely not an extrovert! But he did. Then I wondered if it was too public; not all soldiers are welcomed home in this way. It usually only happens when the family informs the various groups that participate. But last night, at Ash Wednesday service, I ran into one of the schoolkids. Hunter told me, "It was awesome! Terrific!" He had that, "I've seen a hero!" shine in his eyes. I guess it doesn't matter if we think it might be too public. Kids need heroes, and if it means going to a little trouble to let them shake the hand of one, well, then, bring on the trouble!