This is a story about great Americans; the definition of American heroes.
When Ashley was 13 years old, a tornado leveled the town she grew up in. She wanted to help, but was turned away because she wasn’t in the Red Cross or National Guard. At this time, she made a promise to herself that at age 17 she would join the National Guard (which she did) so she could help people in disasters.
Ashley and Maurice met in Vermillion, South Dakota in 2004 while working for the same company. They started dating after Ashley returned from Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training.
After Maurice finished college, he joined the Army at age 24. He joined the Army because he saw the sense of pride Ashley had when returning from deployment to Suriname, South America in August 2008. Maurice wanted to do his part too, so he enlisted.
The Ericksons now have three children together. Maurice has been parenting solo for the past nine months while Ashley, 25, now an Army National Guard Sergeant, was deployed to Afghanistan.
As a way to give thanks and showcase appreciation for those who serve our country and the sacrifices their families make, Discover flew her husband, Army National Guard Cpl. Maurice Erickson, and their children, from Ft. Stewart, Georgia, to the Six Flags St. Louis theme park on July 3, for a surprise homecoming event.
The children did not know that Mom was there when they planned to visit the park, and it was their first time seeing her since she left on deployment.
Unique to the Erickson’s reunion is the very short time they have to spend together as a family. Cpl .Maurice Erickson has accepted a one-year deployment to Korea and will be leaving July 19.