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Local families welcome home USS Ford sailors

From left, Arlington resident and USS Ford crew member Jacob Moody beams as he’s reunited with his sons, Thomas and James, and his wife, Melissa, at Naval Station Everett Oct. 20. - Kirk Boxleitner
From left, Arlington resident and USS Ford crew member Jacob Moody beams as he’s reunited with his sons, Thomas and James, and his wife, Melissa, at Naval Station Everett Oct. 20.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

EVERETT — The USS Ford returned to Naval Station Everett Oct. 20 after a six-month deployment, but the ship’s sailors weren’t the only ones who felt that time. As the crew of the frigate served in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, their families anxiously awaited their return.

Jacob Moody has been in the fleet four years, and his wife Melissa was waiting for him on the pier Oct. 20 with their two sons in tow.

“I make friends with the wives,” said Melissa Moody, who lives in Arlington, when asked how she copes during her husband’s deployments. “We do movie nights. We do lots of stuff.”

When asked what the hardest part is about having Jacob gone, Melissa replied simply, “Having him gone, and not having him here to see the kids.”

“I missed them incredibly,” said Jacob Moody, when he was reunited with his wife and children after coming off the brow. “I couldn’t wait to come home.”

Now that Jacob is back, he and Melissa look forward to moving into their new housing at Lake Stevens.

Marysville resident Bryan Lange got the second kiss coming off the brow with his wife Rose, who was holding their 1-year-old daughter Riley.

“It’s hard being lonely,” Rose Lange said. “You have to stay strong.”

“I kept busy as much as I could,” said Bryan, as Riley dozed off in his arms.

Fellow Marysville Navy wife Heather Chandler could sympathize with the Langes’ difficulties. Her husband Matthew has been in the fleet for six of the seven years that they’ve been married, and served the past three of those years on board USS Ford. This was his last deployment before a stint of shore duty, and his wife and 4-year-old daughter dealt with his absence by sending him care packages and keeping busy until his return.

“We’ve got an appointment scheduled to go to the pumpkin patch,” said Heather Chandler, of her and Matthew’s plans. “We’re also going to be starting some ballroom dancing lessons.”

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