Welcome home to Justin Cusick and his fiancée Kacey Reed who both have returned home from their year-long tour in Kuwait. While there, they spent a furlough in Rome and became engaged. They both serve in the same U.S. Army unit while at home. Justin, a specialist in a transportation terminal battalion, is the brother of Jennifer Caton Rando lph of Oak Bluffs and the son of Christina McMullen of Fairhaven and Michael Cusick. He is a member of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) and a descendant of the Cook, Manning, and Talknot families.

Ironically, Justin and Kacey were only about eight miles away from Capt. Ron MacLaren, the tribal health officer, but were never able to meet up with Ron while they all served near each other in Kuwait. They arrived back in Massachusetts on the same afternoon. We will look forward to their arrival on the Vineyard for a visit within the next few weeks.

Jennifer Randolph and her daughters Jada Lee and Soraya Lynn were in Fairhaven to await their arrival and a family gathering to welcome both of them home.

Welcome home to Captain MacLaren, who arrived on Thursday afternoon, May 22, accompanied by his wife Teri who had driven to Norfolk, Va., to meet the airplane upon his arrival from Kuwait. Ron was greeted by Dukes County veterans agent Jo Ann Kinnecom Murphy and an honor guard of Vineyard veterans. Aquinnah Police Chief Randhi Belain, the Tisbury police and state police, and a Tisbury fire truck were all there to greet Ron.

As people drove off the ferry for the Memorial Day weekend, they could not imagine why the honor guard was there, so we started welcoming all to the Vineyard for the weekend to keep the mood light as we all anxiously waited for Ron and Terrie to drive off the boat. Edson Rodgers played his trumpet for the crowd of well-wishers, including our tribal council chairman Cheryl Andrews-Maltais, our tribal chief F. Ryan Malonson, the health department staff, two-thirds of the health committee members, and nursing colleagues of Terrie’s. As we all headed back up Island, the mood was very somber. We each felt an overwhelming sense of not only pride in the accomplishments of Ron and the joy of his arrival but also the emotional side of his return and our endless gratitude to him for serving.

Philip Gover, his wife Grace Randolph and their 2-year-old son Russell have been the holiday weekend guests of Richard and Jennifer Randolph and their children Jada Lee and Soraya Lynn. Philip is the recruiter for the Native American Program at Dartmouth College. Grace is the daughter of Gregory Randolph, who is serving overseas with the State Department, and his wife Kisuk.

Welcome to Thad Hyland, his wife Cassandra, and their daughters Eleanor, 4, and Genevieve, 2, as they settle on the Vineyard this weekend from their year-round home in Ojai, Calif. They have spent their vacations at Rose Meadow Way for the past 16 years and are making major renovations to upgrade the Aquinnah homestead. Thad noted that he was an innkeeper but only recently did I learn of the magnitude of his inn, which is none other than the Harbor View Hotel across from the Edgartown Lighthouse. May they enjoy becoming year-round Vineyarders as they settle in for the coming winters.

Congratulations to Samuel Vanderhoop Lee, son of Marshall Lee and Martha Vanderhoop, as he graduates from Newton South High School this week, attends his senior prom, and then will arrive in Aquinnah to work at their family Hatmarcha Shop at the Cliffs for the summer. Sam probably will be the first Aquinnah Wampanoag to attend Yale University.

William Maynard and his wife Marilyn have arrived for their summer sojourn at their new home overlooking Vineyard Sound. They enjoyed a holiday weekend visit from their son Chris and his family, who have resided in Hingham for the past 15 years.

Av Morrow and his wife Dora have arrived for the season at their DoraLu Manor. As always, they arrived with dozens of bagels from Montreal for their friends and neighbors to enjoy.

Paul O’Donnell and his wife Genie have arrived for the summer at their Attaquin Way home after spending the third winter at their new home in Florida. Genie will be working at Featherstone and they will both be assistant lighthouse keepers at the lighthouse at Aquinnah Circle.

Woody Vanderhoop and his friend Jamie Speers returned home on Tuesday evening after spending the long weekend in Las Vegas. They enjoyed meeting with his uncle John O. Vanderhoop and his wife Gabi for lunch. The trip was actually to celebrate the 30th birthday of one of Jamie’s friends.

Congratulations and best wishes to Micah Washington as he graduates from Marvelwood School in Kent, Conn., this weekend. Micah is the son of Michael and Bettina Malonson Washington, the grandson of the late Chief Donald F. Malonson and the late Rachel P. Malonson of Aquinnah. He is also the grandson of Boyzell and Jeannette Washington of Boston, who will be traveling to Kent for the graduation ceremonies.

Happy anniversary wishes to Richard and Jennifer Randolph as they celebrate on June 2.

Happy first anniversary wishes to Isaac and Nori Taylor as they celebrate the same day.

Happy 61st anniversary wishes to Av and Dora Morrow as they celebrate their special day on June 3.

Happy 15th anniversary wishes to Capt. Brian F. Vanderhoop and his wife Elaine Diotima Vogel as they celebrate on June 5.

Happy 31st anniversary wishes to Marvin Popkin and Janie Bankoff Popkin as they party on June 5.

Belated happy birthday wishes to Steve (Meatball) Costa who celebrated his birthday on May 26.

Happy birthday wishes to Hilly Thompson as he celebrates a major milestone this week. He enjoyed a home full of family and friends over the weekend who had gathered from New Hampshire, Washington and California to gently guide him into the next decade.

Happy birthday wishes to June Rosebud Vanderhoop who will celebrate on June 1. Janette Galbraith will party on June 4 and shares the day with Emily Q. Vanderhoop, Jason Widdiss, and Leah Bassett. George Baird will party on June 5. Barbara Conroy will party on June 6, and shares the day with Dr. Michael A. Drew, and Tom Fantasia, who is expanding his musical talents more each week and amazing us all.