Message from OWHMD Founder – Sep 2017


Our Navy Family has suffered a number of terrible losses recently with the shipboard crashes of the USS Fitzgerald and the USS John McCain.

I speak on behalf of all of us from Operation Welcome Home Maryland, we mourn of these losses and with their families. With all the noise, and clatter of our news networks of racial tension, Confederate statues being removed, stories of heroism that took place on board these ships went overlooked.

May all involved on board these two ships, know that our Nation stands behind them during this difficult time.

In our State of Maryland, we lost three of our own, each brave and true Heroes.  As a Navy wife, and mother to three adult children who are, or once served in the service, I know firsthand the sacrifices and risk military members take in protecting our Nation, whether they serve on land or out to sea.

Our welcome home events for many of our service members are now reaching into the double digits, making each homecoming greater than the next. We are grateful to each and every one of our Servicemen who serve and who walk through the International doors at BWI airport to be greeted by a grateful Nation.

It’s though each of you who help us accomplish this task, and we continue to ask for your support, especially with the news of more troops deploying sometime this fall.

I ask each of you to remember these fine young men of our great State of Maryland, who wore the cloth of our Nation, and gave the ultimate sacrifice.

USS Fitzgerald

  • Personnel Specialist 1st Class Xavier Alec Martin from Halethorpe, Maryland, 24 years old

USS John S. McCain

  • Electronics Technician 2nd Class Kevin Sayer Bushell, 26 years old,  a 2009 graduate of Gaithersburg High School who joined the Navy seven years ago.
  • Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Timothy Thomas Eckels Jr., 23, a 2012 graduate from Manchester Valley High School.

May we say their names and never forget their sacrifice.

Hope to see you at the airport soon!


Kathy Thorp

About Operation Welcome Home Maryland!

Since March 2007, Operation Welcome Home (Maryland) greets Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guard service members returning from overseas. We average about four welcome home event per week, and YOU could be part of the excitement.

Individuals, corporations, youth groups, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, civic organizations, religious organizations, and government agencies have all participated in events since our founding in March 2007. Volunteers help decorate the lobby with patriotic signs and banners. They also package “goodie bags” for the troops, many of whom are hungry, thirsty, and tired from their travels and will be waiting on a connecting flight.

When the troops arrive through the doors of the International Arrival terminal, we shower them with praise, cheering them on, hugging them, offering them a “goodie bag,” and thanking them for their service.

We invite you to come on out to the International terminal at BWI and help us welcome them home! Take a look at the EVENT CALENDAR on the right side of this website to see the current month’s event dates or call our hotline at (410) 630-1555.

We are also meeting many unexpected flights so keep watching the calendar for changes; we suggest putting our hotline telephone number in your cell phone to get up to the minute news on new flights we will be meeting…

Thank you for your interest in supporting our troops and giving them the hero’s welcome home they truly deserve!!! We also encourage military personnel from all services to come in uniform to greet your fellow servicemembers!

ATTENTION: Companies, schools, church groups and other organizations: We invite you to come out and support our welcome home events, and/or contribute water and snacks for the troops; please email us at Volunteers are always needed to give our troops the hero’s welcome that they deserve.

Email any questions you may have to:

Thank you!  Be sure to Visit us on Facebook  OWHMD Facebook Page

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