Military mom ready for soldier homecoming

By:  Kelly Sommariva

The first of 300 soldiers will arrive in Lincoln on Sunday after being in Afghanistan.  For one military mom, one son is coming home days after another took off.

Zach and Teddy Sanders are brothers and both have been soldiers since age 17.  The day her oldest son, Teddy, graduated from basic training, their mom Maurice says she had a feeling.  “I glanced over and saw Zach looking at Teddy and I knew I was up for round two.  I just knew it.”

She calls herself a 'deployment survivor.'  She says making yellow ribbons and hanging them around town have helped her get through it.  “When they're living their dream, it just makes it a lot easier for me to deal with missing them and longing for them.”

Both of her boys have been deployed.  Teddy came back from his first tour in 2007.  That's when the little idea began to tie yellow ribbons along their route into Lincoln.  Maurice says, “It's just such a celebration of all these guys coming home.”

Since then, Maurice has helped tie thousands of ribbons to welcome hundreds of soldiers back to Nebraska, all while waiting for her own boys to come home safely.  She says, “I cannot wait. I absolutely cannot wait.  I'm so glad I've got all this stuff to do between now and then because if you didn't and you just sit there, you drive yourself absolutely nuts.”

Teddy is on another tour of duty until May.  21-year-old Zach, Maurice, her youngest, comes home in just two days.  He's spent the last year in Afghanistan.  Maurice says, “Some people will say it's only been a year.  It's been a long year.”

The first wave of soldiers are expected to arrive at Lincoln East High School around 9:30 Sunday morning. The ceremony will start at 10 a.m.