By: Sharon Aron Baron
A City of Coral Springs employee received a surprise hero’s welcome from friends and colleagues on Monday after her return from a six-month deployment in Kuwait.
Master Sergeant Ana Barbosa, who has 22 years with the US Air Force Reserves, returned home to her position as the Chief Economic Development Officer with the city after her deployment in Kuwait as part of Operation Inherent Restore. The welcome home was a surprise for Barbosa who was driven to city hall by Deputy City Manager Susan Grant who was in on well-laid out plan.
When they approached city hall, Sample Road was lined with supporters waving flags and holding welcome home signs. Members of the Coral Springs Police and Fire Department were also on hand as well along with fellow service members.
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Mayor Skip Campbell said the city should be proud of all the service the men and women that serve our country to save our life, liberty and our pursuit of happiness. “We say the words, but it’s true. Without them, we would have some bad times,” he said.
Barbosa thanked everyone who was there to welcome her home and said she was thankful for all the support she has received. “For a city to take a professional like an economic and development person, and let you go and come back to an amazing job, it’s awesome,” she said. “Without support from family, friends, and a great city you don’t know what you come back to. When you come back to this, it’s amazing. Being in the U.S. is amazing.”
City Manager Mike Goodrum, said that he was proud of Barbosa’s contributions to her country and was glad to have her back in the city.
U.S. Congressman Ted Deutch wrote a letter to Barbosa which was hand-delivered to her which said, “It is my honor to welcome you home. Your service in the U.S. Air Force Reserve reflects your true dedication to our nation. I am thrilled that we have people like you who embody the true ideals of public service working so hard in the city of Coral Springs.”
Barbosa said, “A lot of times people say thank you for your service but without your support, being away from your family just doesn’t work. So knowing that you come home to the support you have is something you don’t take for granted.”