This beautiful, amazing family had so much to celebrate this week. Not only was daddy coming home after a lengthy deployment, but this was also the end of their time in Whidbey before starting a new tour. A shore tour. A few years at home. A chance to be there for all the moments that matter. Like the birth of baby sister Olivia, due in December.
LT Michael Byrd has completed three deployments in 3 1/2 years. Ben (the blond handsome little man below) met his dad when he was just seven weeks old. And he was 14 months old when daddy left again. As I watched this family smile ear to ear, embrace each other and hold each other tight, I noticed how quietly and sweetly Michael held Ben in his arms. He wanted to show him just how much he loved him and had missed him, but he knew that Ben would take a moment to warm up. Big brother Jack on the other hand, waited patiently, and when he got his moment with dad – held on and wouldn’t let go.
The rock at the center of it all is the beautiful and talented Shannon. What a special, incredible woman she is, and what an amazing example of a supportive, strong military spouse. The Byrd family completely won me over. As dad reached over to pet and kiss Shannon’s belly (saying hello to his baby girl), I’ll admit it – I lost it for a few seconds. The sacrifices this family made did not go unnoticed by me. This was a big day. A day to celebrate. A day to remember. I’m so honored I was there to document such an incredible reunion.
Please join me in welcoming LT Michael Byrd home, and thanking him and his amazing family for their work and sacrifices. Happy homecoming Byrd family. Thank you all!!