Last Saturday, we joined with Cindy and Matt DePretis to welcome home from Afghanistan their sons Marine Cpl. Marc DePretis and Army Spc. Nathaniel (Nate) DePretis. Another son, Army Spc. Christopher DePretis, returned earlier.
Marc grew up in Pleasanton, joined the Marines in 2008, and was subsequently deployed three times, twice to Southeast Asia, and then, last year, to Sangin, Afghanistan. He completes his service in August. Nate DePretis joined the Army in January 2011, was sent to the Army Airborne School at Ft. Benning, then was assigned to the 173rd Airborne based in Vicenza, Italy. He was a paratrooper for nearly two years, earning his Canadian Jump wings by jumping with the Canadian Army in Poland. Last July, he was deployed to Afghanistan, where, within 10 days of arriving, his unit was attacked and two of his close friends were killed. He received a commendation for his effort to rescue fellow soldiers while under fire. He has another year to serve.
More celebrations are coming, including one next Wednesday for a career Navy seaman coming back from Afghanistan duty. We'll be there to say "welcome home."
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