MERIDIAN -- A soldier of the 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team got a pretty big surprise on Saturday: his whole neighborhood threw him a welcome home party.
Command Sergeant Major Michael Kish started traveling for the Idaho National Guard almost immediately after his family moved to their Meridian neighborhood, so he was just meeting many of his supporters at the party.
Kish said in his three deployments, he has never gotten a welcome home as big as the one he got at Tuscany Lakes Subdivision. The block party included plenty of food, games for kids, flags lining the street and even a small neighborhood parade with the Meridian Fire Department leading kids with their bikes and trikes decorated in American flags.
"I assumed a little barbecue, a few people here and there, a little bit of music and no big deal, but it blossomed into something a lot larger, which is great," Kish said. "It's great to meet up with people I haven't met in the neighborhood, and just people come out and show their support of all the troops."
Kish's family was also happy to have the block party. His four kids even got to ride inside the fire truck during the mini-parade.
"I did really miss him, and now I'm seriously glad he's back and to our city and got home safely," said David Kish, the soldier's 7-year-old son.
"Our community really, they support us, and it feels great," said Michelle Kish, Michael Kish's wife. "We really appreciate what everyone's done."
After this block party, organizers hope other neighborhoods might consider making their own block party homecomings.
"You know it doesn't take much," said organizer Joan Rudd. "Just a few fliers around your neighborhood, a few people who are willing to bring a little bit of food. Call around. There's a lot of places that are willing to donate things for your parties and just get together and unite your neighborhoods."
Organizers were able to get pizza donated and delivered by Papa John's and Domino's, ice cream delivered from Schwan's, and a gift certificate from Outback Steakhouse for the family.
"You know everybody wants them home, everybody supports them, and it's just a way to say 'thank you' and get out there and do it," said organizer Peggy Bostrom.
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Posted on September 24, 2011 at 9:36 PM
Updated today at 12:31 PM