A Local Guardsman Receives Special Welcome Home Surprise - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

A Local Guardsman Receives Special Welcome Home Surprise

SELAH, Wa -  A local guardsman receives a welcome surprise when he returns home after a year in Iraq.  Sergeant 1st Class Cameron Welniak personally asked KNDO for the chance to say thanks to his wife and family after surprising him with a giant billboard in Selah.

"I looked up and I just lost it," says Cameron Welniak.

Nothing says welcome home quite like a giant billboard on South First street in Selah.

"They took a totally different way home from Fort Lewis to bring me this way so I would see this," says Welniak.

He just returned home after a year with the National Guard's 792nd Chemical Company in Iraq.  He's been married to his wife Stephanie for two years, but he's spent almost the entire marriage deployed overseas.

"I wanted to do something so that everybody would know how proud I am of my husband," says Stephanie.

When she came up with this idea, family and friends all chipped in to make it happen.

"I was thinking what would make a big impact.  What would be something with a lot of visual impact."

Mission accomplished...  Cameron admits he was so touched that he broke down crying.  The billboard will remain up for the next thirty days.

"I've heard of some very interesting things that spouses have done for husbands or wives coming home.  This is probably the most I've ever seen."

Sergeant Welniak says all he wants to do right now is spend the holidays with his family.  He also plans to retire from the military after 25-years.