CLAYTON, NJ – The decorations on a Clayton, NJ home say a lot about the family inside.
From the tattered American flag that once flew in Iraq to the yellow ribbon, and simple “welcome home” banner, the Garcia’s are a military family.
For 32 years Caroline has had a partner, Jim, she loves and trusts, but who goes away a lot, and as an Air Force intelligence officer can’t always say where he’s going.
“He doesn’t bring work home. He doesn’t tell me the difficulties and how bad it’s going to be, or the craziness,” says Caroline Garcia.
Sons Danny and Tommy followed dad’s footsteps into the military, but making their own wake they chose the Navy.
This family knows sacrifice.
“All the first holidays I missed were the hardest, and just being away from family during those events was the hardest, and really made me think of all the times he’s missed,” says Daniel Garcia.
But Friday when Lt. Col James Garcia returns home from a 6-month deployment to the Middle East, that may be his last, he’ll get a special greeting.
“We had our first grandchild and he’s going to get to meet him,” beams Caroline.
Safe to say on this frigid day, one new grandpa’s heart will melt when he meets 3-month-old Danny Jr.
“I don’t think I’ve ever really seen him cry, he’s a tough guy, he might with this one,” says Daniel sitting at his parent’s kitchen table with his wife Abbey and sister Jennifer.
It will be emotional moment the Garcia’s share with the whole town of Clyaton which planned has a surprise homecoming.
A banner over Delsea Drive reads “Welcome Home Lt Colonel Garcia U-S Air Force” and are group of residents and town officials are greeting Garcia.
And if two special greetings weren’t enough, Tommy arrives home in time for Christmas from his ship in the Pacific.