Manistee Military Family Reunites in a Special Way

After 20 years in the Navy, Petty Officer First Class William Travis retired and came back home on Monday.

As part of his homecoming, he and his 3-year-old daughter got a few different surprises, thanks to his wife and Kylie’s daycare, New Generation Learning Center.

“It all just sort of came together, we’re like a big family here and we all look out for one another and support each other,” said Hilary Karlsen, the adminstrator at NGLC.

After arriving in Michigan, Travis and his wife drove back to Manistee but as they approached the daycare, they met up with a parade of police cars to help welcome him home.

They lead him to the daycare where he surprised Kylie by picking her up from the center for the first time. Kylie hasn’t seen her dad in over a year.

“Her classroom has been counting down the days to her seeing her father so it’s been a really good thing to come back to especially after being closed due to COVID” added Karlsen. “So it was something to look forward to and we just decided they’re our family it’s kind of like a second home that’s how we value things here so why not have it right here?”

After being stationed in Honolulu and unable to see his daughter in person, the relief of being home for good left him speechless.

“It was all a big surprise, I mean she was just a little over 2 the last time I seen her so she’s almost 4 now so I got to get her to know me and just learn what the routine is,” said Travis.

An emotional and overwhelming beginning, as the family takes the first steps to the rest of their life, together.

“It’s amazing to be able to see my daughter and my wife and this is the first time I’ve been back here in a year and a half and to see them and be with them…. it’s a lot to take in. I’m just happy to be home,” said Travis.