Corunna, MI– Staff Sgt. Kenny Wekwert, of Onaway, met his 7-month-old daughter Natalie for the second time yesterday when he returned home from his deployment to Cuba.
His other daughters, Morganne, 5, and McKenzie, 7, clung to his legs as he smiled at his baby, who he met briefly when she was a newborn.
“I’m glad to see she’s still taken to me,” Wekwert said. “I’m happy to be home with them, it’s been a long time coming. I just want to spend as much time as I can just soaking it up.”
More than 150 soldiers from the 46th Military Police Company, based out of the Corunna Armory, Michigan Army National Guard, were reunited with their family and loved ones when they returned from their deployment to Cuba on Jan. 30 at Corunna High School.
The soldiers, who come from all over Michigan, deployed to Cuba in April 2019 as part of Joint Task Force Guantanamo.
Before the soldiers arrived, the gymnasium bleachers were full of their family and friends, some waving homemade ‘Welcome Home’ signs and American flags.
Sgt. Gerald Williamson’s 13 family members all wore matching red T-shirts which had the number 304 on the back — the number of days they’d gone without seeing him.
“It’s a feeling you really can’t explain. It’s just a huge relief,” said his wife Amber Williamson, of Marshall.
Her children, Connor, 7, and Hallie, 3 waved little American flags as they waited for their dad and the other soldiers to arrive. Connor said he was excited to see his dad and go out to eat Chinese food with him.
The soldiers filed into the school’s gymnasium, getting into formation for the homecoming ceremony as their loved ones watched anxiously.
Capt. Daniel Ramos, the company commander who led the unit in Guantanamo, thanked the soldiers for all of their work and dedication during the deployment.
“You guys were ready. I don’t think at the time really any of us knew just how ready you were, but excellent job,” Ramos said. “You guys killed it out there. Welcome home. First order, let’s go home.”
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