Seabee welcomed home by son he has never seen

LONG BEACH, MS

When 26 year old Seabee Kenan Ward returned home last night from a tour of duty in Iraq, he was greeted by the son he had never met. 

Father and child bonded right away, Kenan tells WLOX News.  “Just excited, pretty overwhelming,  it’s hard not to tear an eye.” 

But that was not all the excitement for Kenan.  Dozens of members of VFW post 3937 in Long Beach threw a welcome home party for the military man today.  A welcome home party with a big thank-you attached, according to Stephen Harmon, the Jr. Vice Commander.  “We just want to let all the soldiers know that we’re here for them, and it’s just showing the families what the veterans of foreign wars is all about.” 

With flags flying, and signs of support hung proudly, the young soldier could feel the affection of everyone in the room, something he was not used to on this, his fourth overseas tour of duty, Kenan said.  “It makes you feel a lot better, just because you don’t see it over there and you don’t hear about it.” 

But there are reminders at the VFW post of those who never did get a welcome back party, those brave men and women who never returned home.  A reminder like an plate at the table where no one will ever sit. 

VFW member T.C. Whitfield offered these thoughts.  “It’s the primary thing that the people of the United States should recognize, our armed forces and what they are doing for us.” Whitfield said.  “We need to recognize them that’s what it’s all about, if it wasn’t for them fighting over there we’d be fighting over here.” 

But fighting was the last thing on Kenan’s mind today.  The only thing to think about was great friends, great food, and a great future with his new son, Edward.

By Doug Walker

WLOX- ch 13

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