Sergeant Martin Sambrano's two children attend Children's Learning Center in Central Lubbock. The three and four year-olds at the center wanted to make him something special in honor of his return. Yellow was among their favorite colors Friday as even the littlest of patriots decorated a banner that simply says "Welcome Home." Martin explains, "I was gone for a total of a year and five months."
Martin was in Southern Iraq for most of those months serving as a Signal Support Communications Specialist. It's an important and tough job, but just as tough: leaving wife Julie and two adorable children behind. Julie says, "Total strangers will say thanks for doing what you do and that makes him feel good and us real proud of him; not that we weren't already proud of him, but when people say that it's nice." Martin adds, "I think it's well worth it because we are making a future for the Iraqis and in the grand scheme, we're making it a better place for the world and for our children and grandchildren."
Martin is battling a bit of jet lag, but looking forward to getting back to life away from the war zone. He'll return to his job as manager of a fast food restaurant and in January he'll be a daddy again even though he's been gone for 17 months! Julie explains saying, "In May he came for a two and a half week leave so that's when it happened!"
With a proper homecoming complements of an enthusiastic bunch of little ones, the Zambranos will spend Christmas this year together. Martin says, "It feels great. It's a releif. I can relax and enjoy time with the kids and my wife. It's real nice."
This Christmas is even more special because Martin's father returned home as well. He is also a member of the 142nd.
If you want to show support for the troops you can get a yellow ribbon from any branch of American State Bank, from Plains Capital Bank on 4th and Quaker, or at United gas stations. Don't forget Saturday is official Welcome Home Day in Lubbock.
|NewsChannel 11 Military Holiday Greetings 2005|