For Deborah Schreck, Friday morning was much more exciting than most. Her son was coming home from a long deployment at sea.
Twenty-one-year-old Jason Hickingbottom of El Centro, son of Deborah and Arthur Schreck of Brawley, recently finished 159 days without being in port aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt.
"We ended up celebrating his birthday and Christmas all in a half hour," said Deborah Schreck.
Hickingbottom was called back to duty 45 minutes after the last plane went down during the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11. He was on leave from his home port of Norfolk, Va., visiting his parents.
"My heart just sank," said Schreck.
Unable to get a plane flight to Virginia, Amtrak took Hickingbottom to his ship for free.
The aviation ordnanceman said he long knew he wanted to join the military.
"It was something I had wanted to do since I was a freshman in high school," Hickingbottom said.