News

Surprise Homecoming Welcome for VFCC IT Director, National Guardsman

by Valley Forge Christian College | April 24, 2012
VFCC is thrilled to announce that Information Technology (IT) Director, Sergeant Brian Swomley, returned home from Afghanistan on Saturday, November 3, 2011! President Don Meyer was eager to reunite this American hero with his work family and invited him to visit and attend chapel on Monday, December 5, 2011.

Surprise Homecoming Welcome for VFCC IT Director, National GuardsmanVFCC is thrilled to announce that Information Technology (IT) Director, Sergeant Brian Swomley, returned home from Afghanistan on Saturday, November 3, 2011! President Don Meyer was eager to reunite this American hero with his work family and invited him to visit and attend chapel on Monday, December 5, 2011. Sgt. Swomley was told that he would be recognized during the chapel service, but what he didn't know was that his VFCC family had a surprise welcome planned.

On Monday morning Swomley arrived on campus before the start of chapel so that he could reunite with his IT co-workers. As he exited his office and made his way to chapel he was surprised to find his wife, Amanda, their three children (Charity, Ocean and Silas) and other family members in the Harrup Administration Building lobby. Obviously surprised and happy to see his family, the Swomleys exited the building just as the tower bells began to ring. As they turned the corner to head toward chapel Sgt. Swomley received another surprise. The sidewalk from the Administration Building to the Flower Chapel was filled with hundreds of students, faculty and staff cheering, clapping and whistling for their hometown hero. Nearly every hand held a balloon, American flag or poster thanking him for his service. Sgt. Swomley held his hand to his heart, overwhelmed and touched by his surprise welcome. 

As chapel opened and Dr. Meyer called the Swomley family to the stage, the entire student body rose to their feet and cheered. "This is a day I will never forget," stated Sgt. Swomley. "Thank you for your support and prayers while I was away. I really do appreciate my family here at Valley Forge." 

Dr. Meyer declared December 5th as Brian Swomley Day. "We are so very proud of Brian for his service to our country and we are so very grateful he is safely home," Dr. Meyer stated. "What a great Christmas gift this is for all of us." 

Sgt. Swomley earned The Bronze Star Medal for exceptionally meritorious service while serving as the Information Management Officer and Truck Commander with the 131st Transportation Company in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Sgt. Swomley also was awarded The Army Commendation Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal and NATO Medal for service with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in relation to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Operation. Swomley has been the IT Director at VFCC since May 9, 2005. 

Click here to view photos of the surprise homecoming welcome.