After being overseas for seven long months, a Traverse City Marine finally returned home to northern Michigan this weekend.
It wasn't a low key homecoming either. On Saturday, 22-year-old Marine CPL Michael Reese was greeted by his friends, family, and dozens of community members, who lined his driveway as his car arrived.
200 American flags, held by nearly 30 men and women from the Traverse City Patriot Guard, American Legion, and the VFW, lined the street and driveway as well.
"I'm just overwhelmed at the whole day. It's just incredible to see the support of the Veterans," smiled Michael's mother, Mary Reese. "You know the friends, and family. It's just been overwhelming to me. It really has. I just cannot wait to see Michael though. I'm so excited."
CPL Reese has served our country for nearly four years doing everything from convoys, foot patrols, and installing equipment while hanging 250 feet in the air, to maintaining security and upholding the highest traditions of the Marine Corps.
His mother, sister, and the rest of his family have not seen their brave Marine since he was deployed last June on Father's Day.
CPL Reese has also not met his beautiful new niece, Malynn, yet. She was born in September while he was overseas.
"It's a good feeling to actually know that the community does support us and what we do. And maybe they don't completely understand why we're over there, but they understand, you know, the sacrifices that we have to make and our families here have to make."
After hugging his mother and sister, Michael walked around and shook the hands of every man and woman who were there showing their support.
CPL Reese is home for two weeks, and is planning a trip to Las Vegas with his family to continue the celebration.
He will then head to San Diego, where he will await his next mission.