Merrilee has always loved the airport. She loves all the activity and she loves airplanes. But tonight, she was focused on mommy and telling her "I love you" and "Goodbye mom..."
There were hundreds of people near the international terminal, outside the Air Mobility Command gate. They were there on this Veterans' Day evening to greet servicemen and women who were returning from overseas deployments. One of the greeters was Gary Smith. Gary went to high school with Merrilee's dad, and he attends Merrilee's church.
Just before we parted, one lady from Operation Welcome Home went up to Merrilee's mommy. She said, "We are proud of you and your service. Please be safe."
That is our prayer -- that all of these people separated from their families, off in distant lands, stay safe and return home safely very soon. And that includes our friend, Billy, who has been away in Afghanistan. We hope he gets to see his precious daughter, Kassidy, very soon.