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Military son reunites with family

Posted: July 4, 2013 - 6:50pm  |  Updated: July 8, 2013 - 12:48pm
Brothers, U.S. Army Spc. Jacob Barlow, Airborne Infantry Division (left) and U.S. Army Pfc. Stephen Barlow, Airborne Infantry Division (right), are reunited at the Fourth of July parade in Kenai.  Cindy Barlow
Cindy Barlow
Brothers, U.S. Army Spc. Jacob Barlow, Airborne Infantry Division (left) and U.S. Army Pfc. Stephen Barlow, Airborne Infantry Division (right), are reunited at the Fourth of July parade in Kenai.

While fire trucks sounded their sirens and flashed their lights, parade participants waved and kids collected candy, a mother kept a secret from her family as they watched the Fourth of July parade in Kenai.

At the grandstand on the Kenai Spur Highway section of the parade route, the Barlow family from Soldotna sat in a designated section of folding chairs. Cindy told her husband, Michael, and kids — Jacob; his wife, Samantha; Andrew; David and Lydia — they were sitting there as honored attendees. She said the reason was because the Barlow’s oldest son, 22-year-old U.S. Army Spc. Jacob Barlow, Airborne Infantry Division, returned to Alaska in December and is now stationed at Fort Richardson after serving a year in Afghanistan.

But that wasn’t the real reason the family sat in designated seats.

Cindy had classified information. Her second oldest son, 20-year-old U.S. Army Pfc. Stephen Barlow, Airborne Infantry Division, was coming home from Fort Bragg in North Carolina and seeing his family for the first time in months. Cindy arranged for Stephen to ride in a humvee at the beginning of the parade, get out and surprise his family.

At about 11:30 a.m., the humvee stopped in front of the Barlows. Stephen got out of the passenger side and walked around the front of the vehicle. When he saw his family across the street, he smiled. Grins spread across his family members’ faces when they saw him.

“I think (my family) was in shock a little bit,” Cindy said.

Unaware mom had planned the surprise, the kids yelled, “Mom, look!” when Stephen walked from the humvee across the street where Jacob greeted Stephen with a hug. The brothers hadn’t seen one another since Christmas.

“I was pretty amazed,” Jacob said about seeing his brother step out of the humvee.

Cindy said she had known for a week that Stephen would be coming home.

“I’ve been shaky all day,” Cindy said about keeping the secret.

Stephen arrived in Anchorage last night at about 1 a.m. and stayed with a friend before the parade.

His 10-day leave came at the perfect time; he could celebrate Independence Day and his dad’s July 5 birthday with his family.

Cindy said her children are all really close, and. aside from celebrating their dad’s birthday, they will probably just spend time together riding all-terrain vehicles and target shooting.

“It’s great. We’re glad to have everybody home,” Michael said.

 

 

Kaylee Osowski can be reached at kaylee.osowski@peninsulaclarion.com.

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spwright
1376
Points
spwright 07/05/13 - 06:09 pm
1
0
Our Airborne Warriors 7/5/13

7/5/13 WELCOME HOME OUR AIRBORNE WARRIORS WELCOME HOME !

May I assume that these 2 Brothers are members of the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne) 25th Infantry Div. JBER Anchorage,Alaska ? Their Military Unit was not disclosed ?

May ALL OF OUR TROOPS COME HOME ALIVE & WELL & SOON, VERY SOON !
May GOD BE WITH THEM & KEEP THEM SAFE !

I Love HomeComings !

SPW in Slooooowdotna "Airborne All the Way"

northernlights
218
Points
northernlights 07/06/13 - 07:10 am
1
0
Awesome!

That brought tears to my eyes, I am really proud of our military men and women. When one comes home to see their family or surprises them, I just don't know of any greater joy one can have. She did a great job of surprising her family, way to go!

spwright
1376
Points
spwright 07/06/13 - 09:40 am
1
0
Coming Home

7/6/13 Back in March 2013 I spent almost a entire day at the Houston,Texas Airport & the U S O there. Spoke with a Army Colonel that stated 28,000 of Our Troops are scheduled to COME HOME this SUMMER 2013.

These Soldiers were Fighting a War, dodging RPG's & Mortars & Small Arms fire & those damn IED's in Afghanistan then 24 hrs later they are totally exhausted & asleep at the USO in Houston,Texas.

These American Warriors are Going to NEED JOBS.

Employers may receieve a $4,500 Tax Credit for HIRING IRAQ & AFGHANISTAN VETERANS
A Employer may receive $9,600.00 Tax Credit for HIRING A WOUNDED WARRIOR.

HIRE OUR ALASKAN I & A VETERANS FIRST.

Thanks for Listening
SPW "Airborne All the Way"

AKtoAZ
71
Points
AKtoAZ 07/08/13 - 10:47 am
0
0
*TEAR*

That is such a heartwarming story. It always makes me so happy when our soldiers come home! God bless!

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