Late Thursday night, a group of family, friends and strangers gathered to stand in support of Michael Cacialli of Vestal who spent the last two years serving our country in Japan through the United States Air Force.

Mike's wife Amanda wrote to me and said:

My husband Michael has been overseas in Japan for the last two years. We met when we were 8 years old, due to our parents being such close friends. When high school came, we attended different schools and eventually crossed paths again in 2011. I knew instantly once seeing him, that this time we were not going to part ways. Michael had just joined the Air Force and November 2011 he left me for Japan. Many many letters, emails, and Skype calls later we realized we couldn't be without each other. So I waited for him, and in September of 2012 Michael came home for 9 short days before he would be deployed to Russia, and in those 9 days he proposed. I didn't see him again until June 2013 when we had our beautiful wedding and honeymoon. My husband was home for three short weeks and then left me to return to Japan. My hero, the love of my life comes home November 14th of this year ... And for the first time in two years he will be stationed in the states AND WE FINALLY WILL BE TOGETHER!!!! My husband is such a strong, caring, selfless man, and he deserves thanks for everything that he does.

I can't tell you how awesome it is that the families of returning troops allow us to stand in support of their loved one. And it's pretty amazing that complete strangers join us in standing in support as well. Last night I met a man who was in the Army during Vietnam and he sadly said that when he returned he was greeted with hatred and he wanted to reverse the cycle and show love and encouragement to Mike so that Mike would know that the sacrifices he's made haven't been in vain.

We also learned last night that not only did Glenn play softball with Mike's dad years and years ago, but that Mike and his wife will be moving Washington D.C. and that Mike will be stationed at the same base that my uncle Tom is stationed at.  Small world, huh?

Another really cool thing that happened while we were waiting for Mike's plane to arrive was the arrival of another soldier stationed in North Carolina.  We didn't know that he was coming home, but when we heard about him, we stood in support of him as well.  I didn't catch his name, but I'm hoping someone will recognize his picture and thank him for his service on our behalf.

Jennifer Lasher- Binghamton Airport
Jennifer Lasher- Binghamton Airport

98.1 The Hawk looks forward to welcoming many more of our military heroes home. If you know of a service member coming home and think they’d appreciate a crowd of love, please let us know so that we can spread the word. You can call  607-772-8400 and ask for my extension or fill out the form underneath the pictures below. Special thanks to Rich Birdsall and Jennifer Lasher of the Binghamton Airport for contributing some of these photos: