Camera catches chief's tearful homecoming


Chief Yeoman (SW) Juanette Martin hugs daughter Allison, 9, on March 7 during a surprise homecoming at Allison’s elementary school. (Daily Times photo by Augusta Liddic)

Long deployments away from loved ones are part of a sailor’s job. And despite any number of technological advancements — email, Facebook, Skype, even the suddenly old-fashioned phone call — nothing can substitute for that moment of face-to-face reunion.

Most sailors and their families have felt it. But if you haven’t seen it up close, it looks something like that picture on the right.

The back story, courtesy of The Daily Times of Farmington, N.M.: Chief Yeoman (SW) Juanette Martin was heading home on leave from her deployment aboard the aircraft carrier George Washington in Japan to see her three daughters, who were staying in New Mexico with her mother. She surprised two of them — 9-year-old Allison and 7-year-old Ava — at elementary school while her oldest, 13-year-old Alexis, was on a middle school field trip.

While the girls remained in the dark, the family tipped off the local media, resulting in Augusta Liddic’s moment-capturing image. Click on it to read the Daily Times story by Greg Yee.

As Yee put it: “Their faces told the story that no words could.”


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