The young man in a camouflage uniform playing with basset hound puppies was hard to miss. Senior Airman Matt KLundt took a little time out to sit down with his parents and talk about his visit home. He told us, "In the military home is where they send you. It's just nice to be back home and experience that, feel that."
He spent nearly a year in Iraq. His unit routinely left the security of a base on missions to train Iraqi police. His was a job he calls 'force protection', "So I was the one sticking up with heavy machine gun keeping all the guys inside safe. I took great pride in that."
Pride at the actions of his son is what his Dad, Terry beams just listening to his son speak, "He was looking for a change in his life, for something more."
At the age of 24 Matt has seen a lot of the world, from New Mexico to an air base in Alaska, a tour in Turkey, training in Korea and his year in Iraq. Email and Skype kept them in touch but nothing beats having him close enough to hug says his Mom, Dawn KLundt, "Matt's mom: we love having matte come home. He always brings a smile to everyone in our family.
Terry and Dawn KLundt have two sons in uniform: Matt and his older brother. We met Peter several years ago in his dad's classroom at Kratt Middle School. He was there to thank the students for care packages they'd sent. Their Dad is, "Very, really, proud of what they've both done."
Both sons are on American ground these days to the pride and relief of their Mom, "II come from a military family and we hold god and country so close ... a part of who we are and like I said Matthew volunteered."
This trip home includes the one wedding he won't have to send his 'Matt' replica, a life size, uniformed cardboard warrior, "This was how I was at a couple of my friend's weddings last year."
Airman KLundt is a runner with hopes to be part of the Air Force marathon team one day. In the meantime he's got two pups to introduce to their new environment, "I'm taking two of my boys up to Alaska to get used to the cold."
They have just the guy to explain how to get used to an unfamiliar environment.
Airman Matt Klundt is among those Valley service members who contribute to my ABC30 Military blog, THE RED, WHITE AND TRUE.
You can find it by clicking on See It on TV at the top of our home page. You find it under BLOGS on the right side of the page. Take a minute to post your thoughts on the men and women who wear the various uniforms our out country.