While flying to Las Vegas today there were a number of service men and women on my flight. I had the privilege of sitting next to Private DelaCruz. He was actually heading home to Vegas for 2 weeks R&R. Private DelaCruz is active infantry stationed in Tikrit Iraq. Infantry. Let that sink in for a second. This guy has walked through the streets of northern Tikrit every day for the past 7 months carrying a gun. Just walking....He told me he left Iraq on the 12th, we're flying to Vegas on the 15th but Iraq is nearly a day ahead of us, here in the states so he's been flying for 2 plus days. He is sleeping now, resting up for his homecoming.
I saw DelaCruz in the waiting area sitting beside a very pretty young woman, also in camo wear. I assumed a friend or girlfriend. Wrong, it was his SISTER. She has been in Afghanistan and they are both headed home. The best part of the story is their mom is expecting her daughter but has no clue her son is coming in as well or that today is the day. A friend is picking them up at the airport so when they walk in the house it will be amazing. What a great surprise! Mom’s birthday is also this week. I so wish I could see that homecoming. Can you imagine her face!!!???
Here is a pic of the Private. Polite, courteous, tired, brave and so very young. When he heads back out, he said they would be in Tikrit for a short time then will start pulling out and he will then be in Hawaii for a while. Not bad. I’m going to remember this young man, his sister and their momma in my prayers.