Poplarville Welcomes Local Hero Home

It's a dream come true for six year old Zachary Shubert. Not only is his mother, Army Sergeant Heather Shubert, home after a year of duty in the Middle East, but he was able to welcome her with a parade through downtown Poplarville.

"I wanted this parade because she's really special," six year old Zachary said.

The parade ended at the Pearl River County Courthouse where well wishers and the Pearl River Community College Band greeted Shubert.

"I thank everyone for always praying for me. I was gone a long time and never forgotten," Sgt. Shubert said.

Sgt. Shubert's Medical Detachment unit was deployed to Camp Udari Kuwait about 18 miles from the Iraqi Boarder.

"I did preventative medicine work which consisted of environmental surveys; air, soil and water sampling; dining facility inspections. Anything to keep the troops healthy," Sgt. Shubert said.

Sgt. Shubert, a nursing student at Pearl River Community College, put her education on the back burner when duty called. But the biggest sacrifice was leaving her two young boys.

"On behalf of the city of Poplarville, our community and our nation, I want to say thank you for serving our country. You've been a blessing to all of us," Poplarville Mayor Billy Spiers said.

"I have great pride and relief with having her back. When I found out that she was finally coming home it was like an instant diet. I felt 10 pounds lighter. My shoulders came up and finally I could smile after a year," Heather's mother Karen Shubert said.

The smiles grew even larger as Sgt. Shubert removed the tattered yellow ribbon with her name from the courthouse lawn.

During the celebration, the VFW Post 4196 presented Sergeant Shubert with an American Flag which flew over the White House.

Sergeant Shubert plans to return to nursing school in August.

by Al Showers