|228th Engineering Company returns home to Spring City.|
I grew up in a military family with a father who left his home town in Ohio and joined the Marines during World War II. From that point, the Navy trained him as a corpsman and he fought and treated wounded men during battles in the South Pacific theater. He made the military his life long work. He became a career man in the Army spending over twenty years in active duty. He was also sent overseas to fight in the Korean War. He retired from the Army reserve while stationed at the Valley Forge Army Hospital in Phoenixville at the same time men were being drafted to fight in the Vietnam War. He died a year later in 1968 shortly before my twelfth birthday.
|Sgt. Anthony Pezzetti with his son.|
|Sgt. Crystal Walker with her kids.|
There were times when we were on base that I asked her to drive over to the helicopter landing area. We saw a number of injured soldiers flown into Valley Forge and carried to waiting trucks with the red cross painted on the side. It had a big impact on me. Even as a boy I had a great respect for these warriors.
|Michele & Tim Rooney an emotional reunion with son Gary Anoushian.|
As a photographer at the Mercury, I have the honor of shooting photographs at the homecomings of service men and women. Many of these are happy reunions but there are times when you can see some of the sadness in their eyes thinking of a friend who didn't make it home.
|A Hero's Welcome Maria Hyland.|
Area resident Maria Hyland continues the work of her daughter Marine Lt. Sharon Hyland-Keyser who started 'A Hero's Welcome'. Constantly sending out emails, she lets people know when and where to greet the next one home. It takes a lot of sacrifice as the group volunteers their time to do the work for a cause they feel strongly about. She attends many of these homecomings and gives each a certificate of thanks. There are a number of chapters across the country.
|56th Stryker Brigade Sgt. Edward Cox holding his daughter.|
And when you are out and see someone in a military uniform take a minute to say hello and thank them for serving their country. They will be glad you did.