Emotional Reunion, as Millville Soldier Comes Home - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Emotional Reunion, as Millville Soldier Comes Home

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MILLVILLE, De. - Just a week before the most patriotic holiday of the year, National Guardsman Specialist Charlie Mood had an emotional reunion with friends and family in Millville Tuesday. What he didn't know about his return was that he would be greeted by dozens of firefighters, honoring their former colleague and friend. 

Mood pulled his truck up to the Indian River Inlet Bridge to find about a dozen fire trucks, honking their horns and blasting their sirens. As the American flag hung high, one by one these firefighters made their emotional reunion with Mood. He just finished his second tour of duty in Afghanistan, and now he is looking forward to spending some time with friends and family. 

"I actually teared up a little bit," he said. "Coming home, seeing all this, seeing family. It makes you cry. It makes you tear up." 

After the hugs were out of the way, the trucks escorted Mood down Route One. At the intersection of Fred Hudson Road and Route One, Ocean View police officers surprised Mood by jumping into the escort. All along the roadways were community members, holding flags and cheering for Mood. 

"The out-pouring was amazing," Mood said. "It was amazing what I saw and what I felt going through. Everyone waving their flags and everything like that. It shows how tight this community is around here."

Friend and fellow firefighter Gerald Brinson planned the whole surprise for Mood. Brinson said he lost his best friend to the war in Afghanistan, and said this was a way to celebrate those who did make it back alive and well. 

"It's a good day because a soldier gets to come home," he said. "And it's also a brother firefighter. You're not looking at someone going to a funeral for a fallen soldier. This soldier gets to come home." 

Mood came to the reunion with his mother, father and girlfriend. His mother, Paula said she wasn't going to let her son go again.

"I'm ecstatic," she said. "It's wonderful, awesome that he's home. Like I said, the out-pouring of this community has been wonderful." 

Mood was one of 40 guardsmen to come home Tuesday morning. They were dropped off in New Castle County, and most of them stayed north. Mood said that on the top of his list of things to do is sit down with friends and family and enjoy a beer. 

"This is family," he said surrounded by fellow firefighters. "I love it."

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