View Full Version : In his father's words ...

05-13-07, 07:05 AM
In his father's words ...

His two children are the face of freedom.

James McHann's son just returned from the battlefield in Iraq. His daughter plans to enroll in the Marines' Officer Candidate School in June.

The proud Bloomfield Hills parent offers these experiences about his son, David, who served in Fallujah for the past year as a member of Weapons Company with Michigan's 1/24th Marines:

"On his birthday, April 28, 2006, we had a birthday party and deployment party for David in Michigan. At around 9:30 p.m., he had to excuse himself, change out of his dress blues and into his battle gear, and drive down to his company's Headquarters Training Center (HTC) in Perrysburg, Ohio.

"We said goodbye, they put the company into formation, then onto a bus.

"On his birthday, April 28, 2007, David's plane landed at the Toledo airport. Hundreds of Harley motorcycles streaming American flags escorted their buses from the airport to the HTC in Perrysburg, along with perhaps a dozen state police cars blaring sirens and lights.

"The road leading from the interstate to the HTC was lined for several miles with American flags and 'Welcome Home' signs.

"Many hundreds of family and friends waited for Weapons Company of the 1/24th Marines to arrive. One of their severely wounded buddies, Cpl. John Lockwood, waited for them with the crowd. He had lost his eye and use of his legs, and he had spent the last few months in stateside hospitals. When the buses unloaded the Marines, they snapped quickly into formation. The commander rolled Cpl. Lockwood's wheelchair into his empty spot in the formation.

"After last orders were given and the formation broken, almost all the Marines momentarily ignored waiting spouses, children, parents and friends and quickly surrounded Lockwood, greeting and hugging him.

"By the time we drove back home to Bloomfield Hills, it was about 9:30 p.m. Almost exactly one year to the minute from the time David had left home to deploy with the 'Wolverines' of the 1/24th for service in Fallujah, Iraq.

"Hundreds of people from our family, church and circle of friends prayed for him daily while he was away. He and his fellow Marines had many soul-searching experiences, but I can tell that he has come back home proud and more confident than ever before."

-- By Jay M. Grossman