February 13, 2016

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Home from the war

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 20, 2003

They were a portrait of a happy family.

On Saturday, Marine Lance Cpl. Shane Dempsey came home to a hero’s welcome. Sitting in the living room of his mother’s house, Dempsey, who turns 20 today, was almost completely surrounded by a group of aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and friends gathered to celebrate his return from fighting the war in Iraq.

Plenty of laughter – punctuated by a few tears and emotional proclamations of pride – could be heard in the one-story home in Willowcrest subdivision.

A huge “Welcome Home Shane,” banner was displayed in the front yard, right next to the yellow ribbon tied to a tree trunk.

But don’t tell Dempsey he’s a hero. His stepfather, Steve Seals, himself a former Marine, has already tried.

“I was just doing my job,” said Dempsey, sitting on the couch next to his mother, Mary Nell Dempsey, and Seals.