Military wife, kids evacuate Japan
Boarded flight back to the U.S.
Published : Thursday, 24 Mar 2011, 9:35 AM EDT
Thursday afternoon, Japan time, Danielle told WAVY.com she's looking forward to seeing family, but terrified about leaving her husband and life in Japan behind.
Danielle and her two young children boarded a flight at around 5 a.m. EST, according to Danielle's mother, Lisa Reed of Newport News.
On the phone, before leaving NAF Atsugi, we asked Danielle what she brought with her.
"I've got my kid's baby books with me, my computer, to keep in contact with my husband. I packed two small suitcases because we were told adults could pack 50 pounds and children could have up to 35 pounds a bag," she said.
Throughout the departure process, Danielle kept us updated through emails and pictures. Her husband accompanied the family to the plane, but wouldn't be boarding. He's required to stay behind and carry out his orders.
Danielle told us she's worried about adjusting to life back in the US, especially for her oldest child.
"To let my daughter start at a school all over again for the next few months, make new friends and then leave them behind, and possibly have to come back just to deal with another catastrophe if it decides to happen. And then this whole process starts over again. It's all kind of overwhelming in my mind," she admitted. "It's going to definitely be a long process, no telling how long we'll have to wait once we reach Seattle. And that check-in process, how long that's going to take. And then of course getting back to Virginia."
WAVY.com will follow Danielle's homecoming until she lands in Hampton Roads and is reunited with family.
Families arrive home from Japan
Thousands are leaving the country
Published : Wednesday, 23 Mar 2011, 11:04 PM EDT
For Brenda Parker, this week has felt like a lifetime.
"I keep saying not yet, not yet," Parker said. "I'm going to get her soon."
The anticipation was overwhelming. The time could not tick fast enough.
"All day I kept saying just a few more hours, just a few more hours," Parker added. "I'm going to pick her up at the airport."
She waited for her daughter, Angela Fain and her two grandchildren. They came in on flight from Detroit, but the journey has been so much longer.
"It was wrenching when we heard about the earthquake," Parker said. "All I wanted to do was find out where she was in relationship to it."
Angela and her husband are stationed at NAF Atsugi. Now Angela is just one of thousands of Navy wives leaving to head back home.
"It was amazing to see the damage," Fain said. "Buildings were turned to rubble the train actually derailed."
Like the rest of the world, Angela was watching the nuclear reactors and threat of radiation.
"We were taking extra precautionary measures, like keeping our doors and windows closed," Fain added. "You stayed indoors when you didn't have to go outside."
Not only is she going to rest easy, but so is her mother
"It's wonderful," Parker added. "I couldn't ask for anything better."