South China Marine Gets Homecoming Full Of Surprises In Bangor

Morgan Sturdivant

Updated 12 months ago

After being in Afghanistan since September, Jacob Campbell’s family wanted to make sure that he got a homecoming to remember.”It was a long winter, waiting for Jacob while he was in Afghanistan. It was a very different kind of experience. I just know that when he told me about a month ago that he wanted to see everybody, I take him at his word,” said his mother, Elizabeth Campbell.When he arrived, he also supplied a bit of a surprise….”Well, he did! I had just talked to them about when the flight might arrive and it hadn’t come in yet, and then someone said he’s here,” said his mom.”A little bit surreal. I was like, ‘Are they really here right now? Am I just on the airplane, am I passed out in a dream somewhere?” It was a little surreal, I have to say,” said Jacob Campbell.”It was an honor to be able to come and welcome him home and see the surprise on his face and how happy it made him. He did sneak up on us, we were supposed to be playing,” said Kathy Brownell, the leader of the bagpipers. For Kathy Brownell and the rest of the Rocky Bay Pipe Band, playing for a special occasion isn’t uncommon, but this surprise is extra special.That’s because this marine used to play in the band when he was a teenager.”A recruiter for the army, actually, taught me how to play the bagpipes. His name was Larry Campbell, no relation to my self. He decided whenever he got me to the point where I could play the bagpipes that he’d put me with a band, and that’s how I met,” said Campbell.The welcome home included the Maine Troop Greeters who say it is one of the greatest things that can be done for the soldiers.”That is the best, for lack of a better word, medicine in the world for these guys when they come home and see the bunches and the groups of family that come in and greet them,” said Cathy Czarnecki, the Maine Troop Greeters treasurer.For his family, this is a day they just had to make as memorable as possible.”He’s always been my role model, my biggest role model for sure, so seeing him back home is kind of like part of my life went missing for awhile. So, I really like seeing him here,” said his brother, Cameron Campbell.”I’m very proud of him. I’m very proud of what the Marines stand for and all our services,” said his father, John Campbell.”I wasn’t expecting to have a welcome party like this, that’s for sure. I was expecting to see maybe aunts, uncles, a friend or two, my parents, but definitely pleasantly surprised. A bunch of the people I had played the bagpipes with. Wonderful seeing,” said Campbell.


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