HOME AND MARRIEDOn Thanksgiving, Warren County a far cry from Kabul

Published 5:00 am Thursday, November 22, 2012

This time last year, Ralph “R.W.” Comans squeezed a turkey lunch between shifts driving soldiers through combat zones in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Today, Comans is relaxing with his new wife, Danielle, and the rest of his family.

Born in Bastrop, La., Comans moved to Vicksburg in 2003 as an eighth-grader.

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At Warren Central High School, he starred as a defensive lineman on the Vikings football team and also was on the track, powerlifting and baseball teams.

He signed up for the 412th Engineer Command immediately after graduating in 2008.

In April 2011, he was deployed and placed on a drive team tasked with transporting other troops to and from “hot” zones.

“There could be intense moments, not necessarily with us, but there were in the area,” Comans said. “It was considered a combat zone. I didn’t see any though, praise the Lord.”

Now, he is excited to spend Thanksgiving with his family.

“I don’t know, it’s just nice to be back with family, of course,” Comans said. “Everything that’s happened, I give all the glory to the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Though in Afghanistan, Comans said he had an unexpected blessing when he struck up a long-distance relationship with the former Danielle Lancaster.

After talking regularly over the Internet and on the phone, they met face-to-face for the first time in March. They got married in October.

“I was originally supposed to come down here to surprise him,” Danielle Comans said. “The tables got turned, though, and he ended up coming back earlier than he was supposed to and surprised me.”

“I found out from a little birdie that she was planning to come see me,” Comans said. “I went up there earlier to surprise her so she had no idea.”

Surprise is an understatement, considering Danielle slammed the door in his face when he first got to her porch in Gaylord, Mich.

“It was a good slam though,” Comans said with a laugh.

The couple spent the next two months in Michigan so he could get to know her family.

In June, she traveled to Vicksburg to meet his parents, Ralph Comans and Patsy Beach.

Since their wedding in Gaylord, the couple has been back and forth between Michigan and Vicksburg. Last month, they finally moved in together.

“I love it down here, even though I’m a Yankee at heart,” the bride said. “I’m still adjusting a little bit.”

Comans spoke of the contrast between Thanksgiving last year and this year.

“I remember we did a couple of missions that morning and then they fed us a little turkey and stuffing,” he said. “It makes me appreciate America a lot better and not take things for granted.”

Comans is working for the Warren County Sheriff’s Department, shadowing deputies until he heads to the Mississippi Law Enforcement Training Academy in January.

“I figured I was going to go into law enforcement,” Comans said. “Honestly, the Lord kind of laid it on my heart to do that. As far as where I’ll be down the road, wherever the Lord has me, I’m willing to be content with that.”