Caroline Kirby has been waiting for five months for this moment. June 8, 2017, the day her husband, Maj. Matt Kirby, returns home from a five month deployment to Afghanistan. With her four children, Rylan, Meira, Pascale and Quinn, she watches for her husband’s plane.
A member of the Guardian Angel Guardsmen of the 212th Rescue Squadron, Maj. Kirby returned home with approximately 20 squadron members, a few support personnel and a service dog, TOML, named for the squadron’s motto, “That others may live.” Their mission was to provide rescue capabilities for personnel, anything from separation from a convoy to a downed aircraft.
The children play in the afternoon sun while they wait. They have races and dance around in circles. They talk about their big summer plans. Rylan is excited, he’s going camping and fishing with his dad.
The deployed are driven off the tarmac in trucks – when the trucks stop, they begin to pile out.
Rylan, Meira and Pascale see their father and start running. Caroline sees Matt and walks holding their youngest child’s hand, her relief easy to see. She watches as he swings his daughter Meira up into his arms, and Rylan grabs onto his middle tightly, laughing. Pascale waits with her sign,
Welcome Home Daddy!