Here’s an email we received today:
Jim, Bob, and Jen,
Attached please find pictures of my son and I upon his return from Iraq. Words can never say thank you for the assistance of seeing my son home. I only hope in the future I can help in any way I can with any of the foundations. While waiting for the bus to arrive at Quantico, I sat back and watched the families and friends that were anxiously awaiting seeing their loved one for the first time in a number of months. Nothing warms a persons heart more that to see the anticipation on faces and to know the same feeling. The pride that I felt was a feeling I have felt a number of times before in simple ways such as a ball game when the National Anthem is played. These fine young men and women put their lives on the line everyday to make sure America is free for each and everyone of us. They voluntarily make the choice to do this. I was addressed as Mamm, yet I felt I should be calling them by the highest title I could think of. The troops filed off the bus, with knees weak because they wanted to run to their families, however they stood in formation. That is a TRUE man. Yes, I yelled so loud, I am sure I was heard in Iraq. It was a strange day as I knew that at the same time as my son was in the air arriving back safely to the states, my older brother was in the air on his way to Afghanistan with the 7th unit of the Special Forces. Our stay at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel was a memory that will always remain in our hearts and minds. Upon arrival, we were treated as though we were a dignitary and every one of my concerns of rest for my son were diminished. Bob Sierralta became like one of our family. My son made comment about how down to earth he was. Bob repeatedly thanked my son for his service. He thanked me for my families devotion to the Armed Forces. Bob- I feel you have become a friend forever! Jen Salvati put the ball in motion. She called me a number of times to make sure all my needs were met. I will get the HONOR to meet her soon. Trust me- I will hug her until she tells me to stop. Again, Thank you for the opportunity to hug my son, a proud Marine as he stepped off that bus onto American soil.
A proud mother, sister, and American