Friday, May 4, 2012

Hero's Welcome Featured on American Homecomings site.

     The "American Homecomings" website has been launched by Digital First Media. The year-long project features stories, photographs and video interviews of service personnel returning home after serving in the war zones of Afghanistan and Iraq.
Warriors' Watch Riders.
Gary Anoushian Welcomed Home
      The company-wide series gives a first-hand look into the lives of Marines and soldiers as they begin to return to civilian life in the United States after tours of duties in the Middle East.
      Area organizations A Hero's Welcome and Warriors' Watch Riders is featured on the cover of the website in an article and photographs titled 'A Hero's Welcome: No one should come home without our thanks.' The story has interviews from the founders of both organizations and why they felt the strong drive to make sure the troops weren't forgotten once they were off the battlefields.
     It also reaches into the life of a mother who joined A Hero's Welcome after her Marine Corps son was led home by a line of motorcyclists and given hugs and handshakes by smiling strangers after completing a tour of duty in Iraq. Michele Rooney felt the need to give something back and it helped her get to know other mothers out there who also sent a son off to war.
     The deployments are never easy for these families and not all come home with flag-waving fanfare. Other heroes return in a flag draped casket and Warriors' Watch Riders are there to solemnly bring them home. They feel a responsibility to be there in all circumstances as Wayne Lutz founder of Warriors' Watch Rider and Sharon Hyland-Keyser founder of A Hero's Welcome both have stated they want someone there to shake the hand of every soldier coming home and say a word of thanks to make sure they know that they are remembered.
A Hero's Welcome homecoming for Marine Gary Anoushian.
     In the coming months many more stories will be written. Visit the site at as Digital First Media and The Mercury continue to publish stories. As Lutz so graciously states there will always be a reason to see these men and women home saying “I always tell them, when I’m dead and they’re old and gray, to pay it forward. You and I know that 40 years from now, there will be another war” — and more men and women laying their lives on the line who will need to be welcomed home.

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