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Oswego Navy Senior Chief Given a Hero's Welcome Upon Returning Home

Senior Chief Douglas Balder returned home from his third deployment since Sept. 11.

Family, friends and supporters line up to greet Senior Chief Balder at his home. | Credit: Natalie Stevens
Family, friends and supporters line up to greet Senior Chief Balder at his home. | Credit: Natalie Stevens
US Navy Senior Chief Douglas Balder received a hero's welcome home Sunday afternoon when he returned from his third deployment since Sept. 11, 2001.

Operation Welcome You Home (OWYH) welcomed the Oswego resident back from his 243 day tour as the Senior Enlisted Leader for the Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa Communications Directorate in Djibouti, located in the Horn of Africa. 

"I'm at a loss for words. Just want to say thanks to everyone for coming out. It means a lot," said Balder to the assembled group of family, friends and supporters.

A resounding "welcome home!" followed his statement.

Balder thanked his wife, Kimberli, for watching their two children, Cameron and Claire. "Her challenges get more and more," he said of his time of deployment. "I missed a lot of their firsts and seconds. You're all thanking me, but I think she deserves a lot of that thanks too."

Balder's other tours  include the Amphibious Construction Battalion One, Naval Sea Systems Command, Recruit Training Command, Mobile Inshore Undersea Warfare Unit 101, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 25, USS Constitution, USS Rodney M. Davis (FFG 60), Naval Cooperation and Guidance for Shipping (NCAGS) unit.

His current command is with the Naval Reserve US Fleet Forces Command Maritime Air Operations Headquarters Element at Naval Station Norfolk, VA.

Check out the video and photo gallery (videos amongst photos).

Welcome home Senior Chief Balder!

Carol Anaski-Figurski June 25, 2013 at 08:10 PM
Welcome home and enjoy your summer get those and kids to the swimming pool out for bike rides, etc.
laurainil June 30, 2013 at 09:00 PM
Thank you for your service! Welcome home!

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