Austin and Brooklyn Bublitz hug their father, Darrell Bublitz, after a surprise visit to their school, Clarkston Elementary, the day he returned from a six-month deployment to the Middle East. Please see page 4 for story and more pictures. Photo by Phil Custodio
BY PHIL CUSTODIO
Clarkston News Editor
Austin and Brooklyn Bublitz broke into a run when they caught sight of their father, Darrell Bublitz, outside Clarkston Elementary as classmates cheered.
They hadn’t seen him in six months. A master sergeant in the U.S. Air Force, he returned that morning, Nov. 3, from a deployment to the United Arab Emirates.
“To see them there, it was awesome,” Darrell said. “It’s good to see the community come together for this.”
“The Clarkston Elementary family is very supportive. It’s great,” said Sarah Bublitz, his wife. “It’s been a long six months.”
Students, parents, and staff lined up waving flags with Darrell at one end when the children emerged from the school at the end of their day.
“Welcome home,” said Principal Brian Adams to Darrell. “Thank you for everything. We appreciate everything you do.”
Parents and staff at the school organized the homecoming welcome after receiving word of his arrival earlier in the week.
“We were thinking about an assembly for after school, to give him time to get home and settle in,” said Jeanette Early, PTO president.
This was Darrell’s fifth tour overseas, two-and-a-half years altogether. His deployment in the UAE was with the 127th Wing, out of Selfridge Michigan Air National Guard Base. He arrived home that morning at 7:30 a.m., after a 16-hour flight.