Dad glad soldier-son is home on special day

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 16, 2003

Sgt. Samuel Muirhead and his wife, Sgt. Carmina Muirhead, stand near the Mississippi River with his father, David Muirhead, Wednesday at a relative’s home in Vicksburg. (Melanie Duncan ThortisThe Vicksburg Post)

[06/15/03] Eighteen months after a Marine son and his Vicksburg father last visited, the two are spending Father’s Day together in Vicksburg today.

“When he was growing up, I’d take him hunting, and he was always two or three steps behind me,” said David Muirhead, the father of 26-year-old Sgt. Samuel Muirhead. “Now, he takes a step, and I’m two or three behind him.”

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Samuel Muirhead came home to Vicksburg last week after seven months overseas with I Marine Expeditionary Force. He spent three months in Kuwait before being deployed to Iraq for two months.

“It’s a real good feeling to see your kid come back, because I think about the men and women who didn’t come back and the men and women who are still over there,” the 52-year-old David Muirhead said Wednesday, wearing a T-shirt that reads, “Operation Iraqi Freedom, Mission Accomplished 2003.”

As the two men sat at a picnic table waiting for another family member to finish preparing a traditional Mexican meal, Samuel said little about his months in Iraq. When asked what he did specifically, he answered, “I fought.”

His job, he said, was to fight the war for the United States.

“We were given a mission to destroy a regime, and we accomplished that mission,” said Samuel, who lives at Camp Pendleton, Calif., with his wife, Carmina, also a Marine sergeant. She was stationed in Kuwait during the war.

Samuel said lessons his father taught him have sustained him throughout his four-year military career.

“He taught me not to give up, don’t quit and always try to go for the top,” he said.

Samuel said he and Carmina had no plans for their time in Vicksburg they will leave today and report back to Camp Pendleton June 30 for some classes and hopefully more time off except old-fashioned fun with the family and possibly looking up old friends from his days at Vicksburg High School.

As for today, “I’ll just be with him,” David Muirhead said. “Hopefully it’s not another two years become he comes home again.”