Navy commander Micheal Flatley (no relation of the dancer) returned home to East Hampton in Connecticut yesterday after an 11-month deployment which marked the completion of his third tour in Iraq.
The U.S. soldier received a warm welcome from his family, friends and neighbors. He held his daughter Riley (5) in his arms as the assembled crowd sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” in front of his house.
It was the perfect July 4th weekend for the Navy hero who is much decorated.
“The first thing we’re going to do is build a fire pit in our back yard and enjoy our night together,” he said. “God bless America.”
“I’m just so excited to have him back home with us. We missed him,” his wife told the Middleton Press.
Addressing the gathered crowd the father said it was heartwarming to see such support.
“To see this level of support gives me great faith in our country,” he said.
“This is a wonderful country,” he said. “Being overseas has helped me realize just how lucky I am to be an American citizen. We are truly blessed to be born here.”
“Our country is a great place when people step up to serve and do the hard jobs,” he said.
During his deployment he served in the Iraqi mission Operation Newdog, working as a liaison officer to the command staff in Bahrain. He thanked his navy team for all their effort and said he couldn’t have done it without the support of his community, paying special tribute to his wife.
“I especially have to thank my wife,” he said. “I couldn’t have done this without her. We serve together as a family.”
With no future deployments set for the near future he said he is happy to be home with his family as they prepare for a move to Texas for his new job role.
“I’m excited about seeing a new part of the country,” Flatley said.
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