Family Welcomes Home Army Soldier from Luzerne County for the Holidays

LEHMAN TOWNSHIP -  Dozens of family members surprised a 20-year Army veteran earlier this week at the airport in Luzerne County.

Tonight, they all sat down together for a Thanksgiving feast.

In a spacious and cozy room, 35 family members gathered near Lake Silkworth for a lavish Thanksgiving feast. This impressive family get-together had a heartwarming twist.

The smiles on everyone's faces were a permanent fixture because they were celebrating the return of Chief Warrant Officer, Ned Walsh. Walsh just returned home from his third tour in Kuwait, where he captained boats for the Army.

"Feels great to be back, especially just to be back on American soil," Walsh said. "Anybody who spends anytime abroad and away from America definitely appreciates when they get home, given the liberties and freedom we have here in this country."

The Lake-Lehman High School graduate returned home Tuesday night. Family members surprised him at Wilkes-Barre / Scranton International Airport.

"He was supposed to surprise me, but we turned it around on him and we surprised him," Walsh's mother, Beth Gruver said. "We had like 25 people there with banners and balloons. It was very, very nice. It was very emotional. Of course I cried."

"It was chaos," Walsh's brother, Scott said. "It was good. It was good. Really good."

Although Walsh's children are a bit camera shy, they're happy to have Dad home for the holidays before he's stationed in Hawaii come January.

"Pretty good," Adam Walsh said. "Nice to have him home."

"Haven't seen him in a while, so it's good," Phoebe Walsh said."

"Good! Good," Serenity Walsh said with a huge smile.

As for what Chief Walsh is thankful for?

"This year, I'm thankful to be home for the holidays and spend time with these beautiful people behind me," Walsh added.

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