NEW HAVEN, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – Today, Mick Lomont thought he was being interviewed for a story about how the recent heat and dry conditions have affected his crops. The real story was when his son emerged from the corn crop having just returned from Afghanistan.
It was a birthday present sure to never be forgotten for Mick. As he was positioning himself for our interview discussing how corn crops worked to retain moisture from Tuesday night’s rainfall, Lt. Bart Lomont, his son, stepped through the crop with a smile as wide as the corn field. Mick turned with shock, disbelief and a sudden rush of joy.
“Oh my gosh! What’s going on here? You guys knew all about this,” pointing to our crew.
Bart clutched his father. He had not seen him in eight months. At the same time, a group of nieces and nephews, dressed in red, white and blue, came around with signs, flags and smiles to greet their grandpa and uncle. Inside the home, Jane Lomont, Bart’s mother sat and wondered what the commotion was about.
"I saw all these children running in with flags and I thought I wonder if they're just doing that for the television or... Then I saw the uniform, and then I cried."
After greeting his father and other family members, Bart dashed for his mother Jane who tearfully welcomed home her son. It is a sight that is perhaps often lost in the dialogue over the War in Afghanistan.
Bart’s planning and desire to surprise his family did not go unnoticed. The scene was a collection of tears, laughter, shock and exclamation. Bart said he was just happy to be home in Indiana.
“There's nothing like the feeling of just grasping them in your arms, finally being home and putting your feet back on Indiana soil."
Bart is one member of the Indiana National Guard’s 3-19th Agribusiness Development Team working with Shaikh Zayed University in Afghanistan. Together, they work to help Afghani famers find new ways to farm and create a better quality of life through sustainability in the Khowst Province.
--For more on Lt. Lomont’s team in Afghanistan, click the related link.--
We first talked to Bart via Skype from Afghanistan in early June to see how he and his Agribusiness Development Team were helping Afghani famers. Today, he says Afghani governance is vastly improved.
“They have extension agents. They have people doing the training that are working on it so when we actually go out for these training sites, we'll have trained the extension agent, but the extension agent is the one working with the Afghani farmers.”
All of the talk of business has been put on hold for at least the next few days while Bart is home. He says he is most looking forward to a cold glass of milk. He also joked at having one of his favorite meals.
“I've been joking with them that I'm looking forward to some BLTs and sweet corn, a good Indiana meal."
We hope that will be just one of many great meals over the next few days as the Lomonts celebrate a family reunited.
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