Holly Springs pulls out all the stops for returning soldier.
The same week my husband, Daniel Price, found out about his deployment to Afghanistan was the same week we found out we were pregnant with twins. The emotions that overwhelmed us were immense. How would we explain to our, at the time, 3-year-old daughter?
In October 2018, Daniel left home to start his pre-mobilization training. By Thanksgiving, he was gone full-time. He received a week-long pass during Christmas, and then he was gone for good. By this point, our twins were 5 months old, but since they were born two months premature, their development was that of 3-month-olds — nearly newborns.
Daniel’s camp, which became his home for almost seven months, was located in Kandahar, Afghanistan. His primary job was to provide infantry uplift for special forces soldiers. His role and the missions were exhausting and perilous. Whenever he was able, he would video chat after missions; he was usually exhausted and bruised.
When I received word Daniel was coming home, I couldn’t hold in my excitement. I posted in our neighborhood Facebook group asking if anyone would be interested in welcoming him home by placing flags by their mailboxes. Plenty of neighbors said yes. One neighbor, who lives a street down from us, generously bought 150 flags. The response was incredible.
One neighbor in particular, though, really went above and beyond. Angela Argano had never met us, or knew anything about us, but wanted to do something special for our family. After pulling many strings, contacting different organizations, including the mayor of Holly Springs, an amazing homecoming was put together for Daniel.
Angela posted the homecoming on countless Facebook groups and pulled together four neighborhoods on Sixes Road to welcome my husband home. A Facebook group was created to keep neighbors updated, and the updates also were posted to different social media platforms and apps. The response was breathtaking.
On the twins’ first birthday, July 25, I picked up Daniel at Fort Stewart to take him home. The time had been pushed back a few times, and Angela and I had been texting furiously to coordinate. She kept the Holly Springs community updated. Meanwhile, my husband was completely clueless about what was happening, questioning why I was on my phone.
At 10 p.m., when we reached Bells Ferry Road, a police escort was waiting. Five police cars escorted us all the way home. Fire trucks lined the interstate bridges from Highway 92 to the Sixes Road. Once we turned on Sixes Road, the tears really started to roll.
Neighbors lined the street cheering and holding signs. Jeeps covered the roads decorated with American flags. When we turned on Marble Quarry, a fire truck displayed another American flag at Fivestones Church, as more residents filled the street. When we turned into our subdivision, he was welcomed by handmade signs, cheering neighbors and support.
Our house was decorated with American flags and a beautiful welcome home sign by Shannon Heublein of Card My Yard. Our 4-year-old daughter, Scarlett, screamed with surprised delight as she was reunited with her father. It finally felt like home was home again.
Hundreds of neighbors banded together to welcome home a true hometown hero. We are overwhelmingly grateful and appreciative of every single person who welcomed him home. We realize we live in an amazing, supportive community, and watching everyone get together was truly inspiring and a beautiful sight.
Special thank you to Fivestones Church for allowing people to park there and stand by that roadway. Thank you to the Holly Springs Police Department, the Canton Police Department, and the Cherokee County Fire Department for such an amazing entrance. Thank you to the Mayor of Holly Springs, Steven Miller, and Keith Minick for helping with the connections. Thank you especially to my new dear friend Angela Argano for getting the ball rolling and helping make this homecoming as beautiful and grand as it was. Lastly, thank you Holly Springs. Our hearts are so full by what you did for our family. This will forever be a beautiful memory that we will never forget.
– By Sarah Price