Following the end of the very brief first gulf war in 1991, troops returned home amidst much fanfare, flag waving and generally a full-blown heroes’ welcome. The common photo of the day was one of desert tan painted troop trucks lined up on the highway with people standing at the side cheering and waving.
On this day, the troops marched onto a parade field a Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri to the cheers of friends and family and one little girl who broke ranks with the civilians and ran to the center of the field.
She seemed perplexed and even disappointed. I asked her who she was looking for and she replied, “My uncle”. There were several hundred troops on the field.
Following the welcome home speeches and dismissal, I lost track of the little girl and never got the follow-up shot I hoped for of she and her uncle reuniting. It was surely a special moment but wasn’t to be mine.
John S. Stewart