Support our mission
 
Sgt. David Pennington holds, for the first time, his son David, as his wife Tammy watches. “He’s more beautiful than I thought he would be,” said the sergeant.
Sgt. David Pennington holds, for the first time, his son David, as his wife Tammy watches. “He’s more beautiful than I thought he would be,” said the sergeant. (Cindy Fisher / S&S)
Sgt. David Pennington holds, for the first time, his son David, as his wife Tammy watches. “He’s more beautiful than I thought he would be,” said the sergeant.
Sgt. David Pennington holds, for the first time, his son David, as his wife Tammy watches. “He’s more beautiful than I thought he would be,” said the sergeant. (Cindy Fisher / S&S)
Cpl. Kimberly Cano, with Headquarters Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, waits for the return of her husband, 3rd Recon Marine Cpl. Anthony Cano. Though he helped pick out the name, he has not seen their new pet, 4-month-old puppy Gizmo.
Cpl. Kimberly Cano, with Headquarters Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, waits for the return of her husband, 3rd Recon Marine Cpl. Anthony Cano. Though he helped pick out the name, he has not seen their new pet, 4-month-old puppy Gizmo. (Cindy Fisher / S&S)
Rasheeda Stokes and son Christian, 13 months, wait for the return of Sgt. Z. B. Stokes Tuesday evening. Rasheeda, who is due in two weeks, said she was worried that the "baby would come before (her husband) came back."
Rasheeda Stokes and son Christian, 13 months, wait for the return of Sgt. Z. B. Stokes Tuesday evening. Rasheeda, who is due in two weeks, said she was worried that the "baby would come before (her husband) came back." (Cindy Fisher / S&S)
Jabaree Johnson waits with a sign he made for the return of his father, Gunnery Sgt. Tyrone Crutcher.
Jabaree Johnson waits with a sign he made for the return of his father, Gunnery Sgt. Tyrone Crutcher. (Cindy Fisher / S&S)

Family members of 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion say it was a long seven months waiting for the safe return of their Marines and sailors. The vigil ended Tuesday evening with hugs, smiles, kisses and stories.

First time for babyTammy Pennington had a special gift — 3-month-old son David Pennington II.

With a 6- and 4-year-old, Tammy said giving birth to little David without her husband Sgt. David Pennington “was an adventure, but we did it.”

The Key Volunteer Network came through for her, she said. They provided much-needed help, everything from baby-sitting, cleaning, cooking and mowing the lawn.

When dad saw his son for the first time, he said even though he had seen pictures, “it didn’t really hit me until just now that I have another son.”

New puppy, new homeCpls. Kimberly and Anthony Cano married a month before the battalion’s departure. She said they were still in the barracks when he left.

Now, she said, “We have a new house he hasn’t seen and a new dog he hasn’t seen.”

Anthony had sent her the money for Gizmo, their 4-month-old Maltese, as a Valentine’s gift. But Kimberly did the house-choosing on her own, she said.

When it came to furniture, “I took advantage,” she said. “It’s been nice, getting to pick everything out without having to get a second opinion.”

Just in timeRasheeda Stokes said she couldn’t get past the excitement that her husband, Sgt. Z.B. Stokes, is back.

He arrived just in time, she said. She is due to deliver their third child in two weeks.

Since the couple already has a 2 ½-year-old and a 13-month-old, going to the hospital without him might have been a little tough, she said.

Hurray! Dad’s backMany of the children already had plans for when their dads came home.

Devin Roberts, 11, wants to play catch with his father, 1st Sgt. James Roberts.

“My dad is the main man,” said Roberts, who wore a T-shirt proclaiming that sentiment.

Jabaree Johnson, 11, said it’s too quiet when his father, Gunnery Sgt. Tyrone Crutcher, is gone. “I’m bored without Dad. He does the fun stuff.”

Rachel Medlin, 9, wants to challenge her dad, executive officer Maj. Chris Medlin, to a game of “Dance, Dance, Revolution.”

She’s not cutting Dad any slack just because he’s been gone.

“I’m sure I’ll win,” she said.

Migrated

around the web

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up