Children of members of the Fairfax Urban Search & Rescue team held “You’re My Hero” signs at an emotional homecoming at Dulles International Airport Thursday.
“I like knowing that my dad can help people like that, and I don’t think I’d ever be able to do something as great as he did,” said Hayley Carver.
They understand and witnessed how difficult their parents’ jobs are. Still, it was difficult for the young ones to be patient waiting for their return.
It was the Fairfax Urban Search & Rescue team who made the first rescue after the Haiti earthquake.
Becky Gray was able to see and hear her husband Sam through television reports. Watching the tragic events unfold around him also impacted her.
“You can hear all the stories, but actually seeing it happening worried me a little more,” Gray said. “When all the aftershocks started, I was like ‘Oh my gosh, is he down there between two slabs?’ This has been a little stressful.”
Gray’s stress soon turned into celebration when the motorcade carrying her husband’s team approached the airport.
Cries of “There he is, there he is!” filled the room.
The reunion was a little bittersweet for Sam Gray.
“It’s almost a little sad knowing that we got to come home to our families -- still thinking about all those people (in Haiti) who died and will never be able to see their families.”
Others were more matter-of-fact.
“We learned a lot. Saw some things. Just glad to be home,” said Tom Carver.
Fairfax County is providing counselors to help members of the Urban Search & Rescue team and their families cope with the experience in Haiti.