Moon-based reservists return to joyous welcome home Saturday
By Bill Vidonic
Published: Saturday, March 30, 2013, 2:21 p.m.
For Army Reserve 1st Lt. Heather Pisciotti, a reunion with three of her children couldn't wait even one more second Saturday.
As 120 members of the 316th Expeditionary Sustainment Command stood outside Moon Area High School for a welcome home ceremony, Pisciotti, 46, of North Huntingdon, dashed from the unit and flung herself into the arms of children Anthony, 13, Daniel, 11, and Aurora, 9.
“How can you separate yourself from your kids?” Pisciotti said.
Members of the unit had been ordered to join their families after a ceremony celebrating the end of an assignment that began with training in spring 2012 and a July deployment to Kuwait.
The 316th, based in Moon, provides food, fuel, ammunition, water, transportation, maintenance and soldier services in the Middle East.
Hundreds of family and friends cheered and waved flags as the reservists stood at attention on the high school auditorium stage, receiving praise from their commander, Brig. Gen. Bud R. Jameson Jr., for their efforts in Kuwait and throughout the Middle East.
“It is important we let these soldiers know how much we care about them,” said U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair.
At the end of the ceremony, the reservists reunited with loved ones and friends inside the school gymnasium with a flurry of tearful hugs, handshakes, kisses and many “I love yous” and “I missed you.”
“Coming home's the best birthday present ever,” said Spc. Michael Thompson, of North Huntingdon, who turns 23 on Wednesday. “That, and a beer.”
William White, 19 months old, applauded as troops filed past on their way into the high school auditorium. As his father, Maj. Brian T. White walked past and said, “Hey, buddy!” the boy's mouth fell agape and he stared at the father he hadn't seen for more than nine months.
Though it was his third deployment, White, 40, of Moon said this one was the toughest, because it was his first as a father.
“I missed so much,” White said. His wife, Kellie White, 35, videotaped their son's first steps and first birthday party.
“It's the milestones,” Kellie White said, adding that the family would together pick out an Easter basket for William, since his father missed Christmas shopping.
Kellie White's friend, Jackie Beaman, 32, of Moon, said her three children with Staff Sgt. Chris Beaman, 35, kept her mind occupied. Chris Beaman sent one gift a week from Amazon.com to his wife and children to mark the countdown to his homecoming.
Despite his earlier promise not to, Daniel Pisciotti, sporting his mother's fatigues cap and backpack, wept as she hugged each of her children, marveling that Anthony had grown at least two inches since she last saw him, surpassing her in height.
“He was as tall as me. Look what happened!” she said.
The children said they were able to talk to their mother by phone and Skype, but the physical distance was hard to bear. Anthony said he missed his mother's “Breakfast of Champions,” a combination of buttered noodles and eggs.
“This is the second deployment in five years,” Pisciotti said. “It's just too much.”
Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5621 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Physician-mom knows family, parenting issues firsthand
- LaBar: Bryan winning world title at WrestleMania 30 is only option
- Keisel might be at end of Steelers career
- Mt. Pleasant girl overcomes effects of brain surgery
- Penguins’ leads evaporate in loss to Sharks
- Sharks praise ex-teammate, newest Penguins player Goc
- Martin would consider extending stay with Pirates
- McKeesport middle school student struck by dump truck dies in hospital
- Former McDonald doctor sentenced for selling drug samples to patients
- North Huntingdon chief says officer has been creating a ‘negative environment’
- Deer Creek mine discharge project should be wrapped up by late spring