On Friday, September 30th, Owatin Creek Elementary School welcomed home Sergeant First Class Michael Landeck. With the help of many people in the community, Landeck was able to surprise his 6-year-old son, Caleb Landeck, who attends the school as a first grader.
Sgt. Landeck has served in United States Army National Guard for 23 years. During his time, he has completed five tours in Bosnia, Iraq (twice) and Kuwait (twice), and received a Meritorious Service Medal during his most recent deployment to Kuwait. During his 23 years, he has spend 4 of them being deployed in honor of our country.
“We are proud to have you here today, reunited with your family. Your sacrifice and courage is inspiring to our community and to our students here with us today,” said Principle Charlie Payne.
Sgt. Landeck was overwhelmed with the love and support that came with the event. He had no idea that this was happening, but it certainly will be a memory that’ll last a lifetime. “It was overwhelming. I had no idea that this was going on” he said.
His wife, Samantha Landeck, and neighbor, Lee Pace, worked behind the scenes to make this homecoming a special once.
The neighbors met at a 4th of July party in 2021, just before Sgt. Landeck was set to go on a 11-month deployment to Kuwait. Fast forward a year later, at the same party, Samantha and Lee combined their efforts to create a homecoming for their local hero.
“There is no single person that led the effort. This was a collective effort, much like how our military works. And it was executed beautifully.” said Lee Pace, the Landeck’s neighbor.
Sgt. Landeck plans to take a year off to spend time with his friends and loved ones.