Many happy returns
Soldier comes home
This past Saturday kindergartner Gabriella “ Gabby” Benevidez, held up a welcome home and wiped a small tear from her eye. Her father Sergeant ( Sgt.) Anthony Benevidez, of the 1072 Battalion of the United States Army National Guard ( USANG) had just surprised her on the Lindsay high school football field during one of the Lindsay City Football Leagues games.
As Anthony Benevidez walked over to his daughter, who was a Lady Bulldogs cheerleader, the attendees gave a loud wave of whistles, whoops and applause.
“I feel good. I come back home. I’m one of the lucky ones,” said Anthony Benevidez, who had just completed a six month deployment in Afghanistan and has served 18 years with the USANG.
Sgt. Benevidez spent his tour performing convoy operations and will now be stationed in Fresno.
Welcoming him home was his wife Angie and his five children; daughters Lyric, Amber, Gabby, and sons Auron and Tristan.
The distance between him and his family was the hardest part of the deployment.
“Being away from the family. At their ages it’s a lot of changes at six months. Like my son was only a week old when I left, a lot of changes,” explained Sgt. Benevidez.
Though far away from his family he explained that the United Services Organizations (USO) helped out.
“USO provided free internet and phone service and books,” added Sgt, Benevidez who used Skype to stay in touch with his family.
Though he had some plans for the family, which included visiting the original strip of missions along Highway 1, daughter Gabby who was happy to have her father home had a much simpler plan.
“First thing is to eat with him,” said Gabby Benevidez.
Military wife Angie Benvidez felt joy.
“I feel excited and relieved,” said Angie Benevidez who added that the hardest part for her was worrying about him and being a single parent.
Her advice to other military spouses is simple.
“Keep yourself busy,” stated Angie Benevidez.
For more information on the USO visit http://www.uso.org