VFA -14 is Home (March 2010)
Usually it is the news media that covers the homecomings of our military personnel and since the general public isn’t usually invited I don’t often receive the opportunity to express my gratitude to them in person, I don’t often have the nerve to just strike up a conversation with someone that I believe is in the military and thank them for their service. Truth is however that the men and women that serve in the military are just like the rest of us, well for the most part anyway.
I was contacted through my sister who has lived the last 4+ years as a wife to a Navy pilot, though she wasn’t attending the homecoming herself at the Lemoore Naval Air Station one of her friends wanted to have some photographs taken of her and her husbands reunion. The pilots had been separated from their family for the last 8 or more months, serving to fight for the freedom that we enjoy everyday.
Upon arriving at the base I had to check in through “Pass and I.D.” to ensure that I had the correct credentials to get me onto the base, this operation went more smoothly than I had expected and I was quickly on my way to the Op’s side of the base with my pass in hand. After finding a parking spot near the hanger I quickly grabbed the gear that I had brought with me, mainly everything that I own, and headed into the hanger. Through everything that I had learned the homecoming was supposed to be something small when I walked into the main hanger I was greeted by something much larger than something small. There were rows of seats set out for people to sit in while they waited for the pilots return, many of which went unused throughout the event.
Fast forward a bit, I met up with my sponsor for the day and waited for the pilots return, they were to go out past Lemoore and fly straight toward the opening of the hanger in formation and that they did, it was an amazing sight that moved many to tears of anticipation for the return of their loved one.
Now at home with their loved ones I am left with only photographs and the great memory of watching our soldiers/pilots come home. Though the entire event was short and most people returned to their homes quickly it won’t easily be forgotten by the pilots and their family. Photographs to help in the remembrance of the reunion can be found here for viewing and purchase.