Buckhannon Sailor Returns Home After Back-to-Back Deployments - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Buckhannon Sailor Returns Home After Back-to-Back Deployments

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For one Buckhannon family, this Fourth of July was more than just fireworks and grilling. It marked the homecoming of Justin Miller, 21, of the United States Navy.

Justin spent the last year serving our country as an aviation support equipment technician on the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.

"It's one of the most deployable ships in the entire Navy, so needless to say, I'm proud to be on it," Justin said.

He followed in his father's footsteps in becoming a sailor, leaving behind a cross country scholarship at Alderson-Broaddus College.

Greg, who served in the Navy from 1982 to 1987, recently got the opportunity to see life in his son's shoes. When the "Ike" docked in Jacksonville earlier this week, families were allowed to join their sailors for their last two days on the ship. Greg said he learned a lot from the "Tiger Cruise."

"We got to sleep where they sleep, work where they work, and eat where they eat," Greg said. "Basically, you're there shadowing them through their daily activities, and they don't hold anything back. You're right there."

Justin said getting off the ship after being stationed in the Mediterranean Sea for so long was a surreal experience.

"It was crazy. You get off, and everyone is wearing red, white, and blue, and you come through, it makes you proud," Justin said, "not that we're not already proud, but it's like, what we did, people actually appreciate."

"I gained a whole new respect for them, the things that our Navy men and women are going through right now," Greg said.

It's an experience Justin is glad to share with other heroes, just like him.

"You just kind of talk it out, if someone's feeling down, you'll go to the gym, lift some weights, relieve some stress, and then you just get right back at it…put your boots on and get back to work," Justin said.

Justin will be home for two weeks before he heads back to Norfolk where he is stationed.