Soldier's Homecoming

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: War and Military  |  House: Booksie Classic

This story was inspired by a picture taken at the welcome home cerimony of one of the Army units returning from Iraq.


It wasn't a large National Guard unit, but then it wasn't a large town.  The Unit's mobilization and deployment to Iraq had left holes in the police force, the fire department, and many of the businesses.  It had also left a hole in the heart of the community.  The three men who came home early, disabled by their wounds, were a reminder to everyone of the danger that hole represented.  The black-bordered pictures of a young woman in her Class A uniform were an even stronger reminder.


But now they were home.  The high school football stadium had been pressed into service, with most of the town in the bleachers, and families waiting behind a barrier of yellow ribbon on the sideline.  The General commanding the division the Unit was part of had come to welcome them home, and had brought a small but enthusiastic military band. The band played and the crowd cheered and waved flags as the Unit, marching in formation, entered the stadium and marched onto the field.  The Unit's Commanding Officer halted his command in front of the General's reviewing stand, and with a, "Left - Face!" turned his men and women towards the stand.  As the music finished he placed them at Parade Rest, and awaited the speeches that would mark their official return home.


One of the family members on the sidelines was a young woman.  She had a diaper bag over her shoulder, an infant in her arms, and a boy of three or four standing in front of her.  When the music stopped the baby's crying could be heard, and she attempted to quiet the child.


The little boy had been very good the entire day, through all the noise and excitement.  Now he made his move.  While his mother was busy he slipped under the barrier, and clutching his little flag ran fifty feet out to where the Unit stood.  He ran through the first rank of soldiers and wrapped himself around the leg of one of the men in the second rank.


There seemed to be a hush as everyone waited to see what would happen.  A moment passed, then the Unit's Commander came to attention.  He executed an about face, and eyed the situation.  Then in a clear voice he called out:


"Corporal Jenkins!  Atten-shun!"


The soldier snapped to attention, the little boy still clinging to his leg.


"Right Shoulder-Son!"


Jenkins crisply bent and picked up the boy, holding him to his chest.  Little arms wrapped around his neck.


"Parade - Rest!"  Jenkins joined his comrades at parade rest, with tears streaming down his cheeks.


The Commanding Officer executed another about face, and assumed parade rest himself.


The cheering and crying echoed in the bleachers for many minutes, and in the hearts of those in the bleachers for many days.


Submitted: September 14, 2006

© Copyright 2022 Mike Brennan. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:


Sam Robbins

I can totally visualize this and can see how you took this from a photograph. I can only imagine what the soldier must have felt when his son ran to him.

Sat, September 16th, 2006 5:05am


Hi, Sam. Having been through a number of military homecomings, the drama of the photo was very real to me. I choked up as I wrote this story.

Sat, September 16th, 2006 12:27am

Donald H Sullivan

As an army retiree, I enjoyed this story immensely. It shows that soldiers are people, too...and that the army has a heart. Well, most of the time. Great story and well written.

Thu, October 12th, 2006 5:40am


Thank you, Donald. This is one of the stories I have written that I am most pleased with.

Thu, October 12th, 2006 2:32am


Very good story, original and vividly described with exactly the right level of sentimentality.

Fri, January 12th, 2007 4:09pm


Thank you.

Sat, January 13th, 2007 3:59pm


tearfully beautiful story--a real 5 star rater ! love it..

Tue, January 30th, 2007 1:33am


Hi, zephyrmail. Thank you. This was a moving piece to write.

Mon, January 29th, 2007 10:07pm


Sentimental, yet calm. Vividly black and white, as if it were my own memory..

Wed, October 15th, 2008 9:47pm


Thank you. I've had a lot of people identify with this piece.

Sun, December 14th, 2008 9:58pm


That was beautiful. Having been through my own homecoming and then many more I can tear-up at your ability to take me back to all of those unforgetable moments. Thank you for sharing.

Sat, May 23rd, 2009 4:18pm


Hi, Hickdawg4. I am glad you like this piece; it is very special to me. Thank you for your review, and thank you for your service.

Sun, May 24th, 2009 9:33am


It's lovely! i truely enjoyed this, this really touched my heart

Sat, July 16th, 2011 4:21am


It was amazing, I've never read anything like this. Keep it going!

Fri, October 14th, 2011 2:40am


Thank you.

Thu, October 13th, 2011 9:08pm


I greatly enjoyed your story, in good part because it is so well written. Who are able to paint vivid images with words--an excellent talent for a writer.

Another reason is that I spent time in the military.My experiences in the Navy during Vietnam have left me with striking images and memories. BTW: I have documented some of them in my story We are Family. You might enjoy it.

Your writing also indicates that you are a good observer and also are sensitive to moods and feelings. A good thing too.

Keep it up--and good luck!

Mon, October 17th, 2011 6:59am


Thank you for your kind words. I will check out your story.

Mon, October 17th, 2011 3:05pm

Moira Garcia


Read my new novels please, and if possible give reviews and rating! Thanks!

Thu, October 4th, 2012 11:15am

Zee Zee

how does it feel to be a soldier?

Sat, November 24th, 2012 5:22am

Zee Zee

can you read mine too please
it's the first story i wrote but i don't know if it's a good story or not

Sat, November 24th, 2012 5:24am

Jason Wolf

Not only wass it a great story it was great writing.

Tue, December 18th, 2012 3:35am

Mindy Rodman

very heartwarming

Mon, January 21st, 2013 2:53pm


this story is beautiful. its very well written too.
i think it is very important for people not only to see the hardships the soldiers face out in the feild, but also those they face pesonally by being away from their family, as well as the joy it brings them when they can return, and you dont seem to see that as often, so thank you.

Mon, February 4th, 2013 5:44pm

Ansel Rover

I like rocknroll's description--that the story seems written in black and white. I liked the story. Thank-you for writing it.

Fri, October 25th, 2013 12:02pm


Hello, I visited your profile at ( and I find out that you're the type my heart love, I believe we suit for real love, let walk that precious thing out for heart desire, I hope and believe we match for good. When contacting reply to my mail address ( am waiting for the love. I am, Miss helen

Tue, December 31st, 2013 2:24am


Hello, I visited your profile at ( and I find out that you're the type my heart love, I believe we suit for real love, let walk that precious thing out for heart desire, I hope and believe we match for good. When contacting reply to my mail address ( am waiting for the love. I am, Miss helen

Tue, December 31st, 2013 2:34am

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