ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WUSA9) -- Friday, hugs seemed tighter than normal as around 1,200 U.S. Naval Academy Midshipmen re-united with their families. The Midshipmen, or "Plebes" as they're called, are in summer training at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD where for seven weeks, they haven't been allowed to listen to music, use the internet, watch TV or visit with their families, among other restrictions.
On the sixth week, the midshipmen get to see their families once more for "Plebes Parents' Weekend."
The Plebes gathered in attendance as their families waited. Then with one command, they all broke formation in search of their loved ones. Once their child was found, parents cried and hugged their sons in daughters with smiles reaching ear-to-ear.
The emotional reunion comes as the United States seems to be amplifying its role in Iraq once more, just when many thought our involvement with the Middle East was closer to an end. The Midshipmen, even though students, are still considered "active duty" servicemen and women. This means they could be called to fight at any time if need be.
Knowing this and knowing the recent events overseas, parents beamed with pride Friday.
"What you see here is a generation of young people, like my son, who've answered the call to serve knowing that we're at a time of war. We've been at war for many, many years and that's significant," said U.S. Navy Commander Carey Cash as he congratulated and hugged his son, a current Plebe.
Liberty Detty, a Plebe, said, "Our job is to give people back their hope and I wanted to be a part of that, I wanted to go to other countries and give people back their hope."
Her father, Buzz Detty, told WUSA 9, "It's through the sacrifices of Liberty and Lydia [his other daughter in the National Guard] and others out there that keeps this country great."