April 27, 2011
Stars and Stripes|by Seth Robson
NARITA, Japan -- Emily Dibble clutched her doll as she walked through the arrival hall at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport. Emily, 2, and her mother, Candace, 23, were among a group of military dependents who arrived at the airport Friday. Since the start of the week, family members -- who left under the Defense Department’s voluntary departure program following last month’s earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster -- have begun to return.
The toddler was eager to reunite with her father, Petty Officer 2nd Class Dean Dibble, who stayed behind at Yokosuka Naval Base to help with Operation Tomodachi -- the U.S. military’s effort to help the Japanese recover from the disaster. “He wanted us out because he was worrying about us rather than his job, and his job comes first to help others,” said Candace Dibble, who took Emily to her parents’ home in Coolville, Ohio, on March 23. The aftershocks that have rocked Japan since the March 11 earthquake were frightening for Emily, her mother added.
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