WALKER, LA (WAFB) - After being deployed for eight months, a Walker, LA sailor returned home to his beautiful family.
The USS New York (LPD 21) docked at the Mayport Naval Station in Jacksonville, Florida on Sunday. Petty Officer 3rd Class E4 Yeoman Clay Bentley disembarked and was greeted by his 22-month-old daughter Layla and his 20-year-old wife Maegan.
Bentley is originally from the Lake Charles area, but his family is from Walker. The special moment of the family being reunited was captured by photographer Suzanne Severio. Severio is Maegan's aunt.
"It was a great experience for all of us," said Severio. "[The ship] just got back from Israel, but it was so good to have [Bentley] back on US soil."
This is Petty Officer 3rd Class Bentley's first deployment. "It is true what they say, they come back different - with a new respect for life. They have a light in their eyes," said Severio.
The family will now live in Jacksonville, Florida. Bentley will have at least two weeks with his friends and family.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Bentley was aboard the USS New York (LPD 21). Built with 7 1/2 tons of steel from the World Trade Center, the USS NEW YORK (LPD 21) was Commissioned on November 7, 2009 in in New York City.
New York, deployed as part of the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group/24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (IWO ARG/24MEU), conducted naval operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe.
The crew was in the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, the Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea, Jordan, the Arabian Gulf, Abu Dhabi, and Israel.