Welcome Home

By  | 

Even though this Sparks family is filled with military, Jeana Schlauch says it was still hard to watch her son, James, leave for Afghanistan.

"When it hits your home, it's still my son and I really feel how other parents feel when their sons or daughters away."

Jeana met her husband, Greg Schlauch, when they both were first enlisted in the army.

They say it didn't take long for the two to hit it off; then, despite a long distance relationship that kept each one on the other side of the world, they stayed together.

Both now work for the Army National Guard, and they say joining the guard has always been the direction James was headed.

"All I had was my parent's experience and foresight and how I was going to be in the army. It's the only thing I could base my decision on to join the army."

James' dad, like many dads, says he could not be more proud of his son.

But, his own experience in the military goes beyond serving.

"One of the main things that I was able to do, that he was able to follow in the footsteps of, is I went back to school when I joined the national guard; got my undergraduate degree at Morrison, got my MBA at Morrison, my wife did the same."

James' education at the University of Nevada, was halted while he serves a year in Afghanistan as a fueler for the Chinook Helicopters with the 133th Aviation unit.

But, even in Afghanistan, he learning.

"The people are extremely, extremely patriotic towards the US soldiers. They help us out, they work for us, and they're all saying Americans good. Americans good."

There is something else we should add about this one soldier's quick trip home; for the past couple of months he has been planning a big surprise for his girlfriend, and she was very surprised.

With the help of 41 passengers from his plane, Schlauch used one rose a person to represent the 42 months they have been dating., since he was carrying the last rose.

When he finally made it to his girlfriend, Chelsea Sidener, got down on his knee and proposed; as you can see, she said yes.

Both are attending the University of Nevada and graduated from local high schools in 2003.