Indigo Insights

Sunday, June 22, 2003
A glorious day on the North Carolina Coast! Our Marines are landing!! They are unloading on Radio Island as I type. Radio Island is about 40 miles from Camp LeJeune and the Marines will be driven home on chartered busses. The highway bringing them home is named "Freedom Way" - which says it all. It says Highway 24 belongs to our heroes. It's their return route back to home and family every time they come back. The entire 40 miles is festooned with flags, yellow ribbons, patriotic signs affixed to telephone polls (These are permanent signs, purchased and maintained by local towns, that go up and down in conjunction with deployments.), and bed sheets. Yes. Bed sheets. A long time ago, some ingenious wife hit on the idea of painting a special "love and welcome home to (fill in rank and name)" on a sheet and attaching it to the chain link fence that runs along Highway 24 for many miles. It seems to be a tradition now. The sheet graffiti covers every possible welcome message. The most touching are from the children. "Welcome Home, Daddy. We love you." The closer the busses get to Camp LeJeune, the closer together the sheets hang on the fence. The linen sections of local department stores flourish, I'm sure, because literally hundreds of hand-painted sheets are up by homecoming day. Even the sun came out in all its brilliance today, after many days of rain, to welcome our wonderful guys and gals back to the Crystal Coast of North Carolina.

The pride and love for the United States Marine Corps and Navy is unabashedly displayed here by family and civilian residents. And we're all so happy they're back. Thanks to all our military personnel for a job well done.

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