Navy officer Anthony Marsiglia has been deployed for the last four years. In a few weeks, he’s coming home.
His family wants to put out a “welcome home” sign for him, but that’s turning out to be way more complicated than they expected, all thanks to their Louisiana homeowners association.
After the family first put the sign up, the Frenchman’s Creek Homeowners Association gave them 30 days to take it down, KATC-TV reported. Association rules ban signs larger than 24 by 36 inches.
But the sign actually fits within those dimensions — and that’s when the homeowners association changed its tune. A notice sent to the family said that even though the size is fine, they didn’t seek pre-approval and may not put up any “permanent displays.”
As a result, the association said, the sign can be up for no more than two weeks before Marsiglia comes home, and for no more than two weeks after.
That’s spurred one veteran to take action against the homeowners association, saying it’s blocking the family from celebrating their soldier’s return.
“I know the hardship that a veteran has to endure being away from home, and consequently the hardship that the family has to endure as well,” Christopher Babin, a former Marine, told KATC.
“I voiced in there my concern that a family supports their veteran,” he said. “Even if you don’t, you should never try to stand in between that. That’s really what it seemed like the homeowners association was doing.”
Babin took it upon himself to place a flag and yellow ribbon on the Frenchman’s Creek subdivision sign, which were removed.
In a statement to KATC, the homeowners association said it has hired a mediator to work with homeowner Chester Pellegran, Marsiglia’s father, to “create a dialogue in hopes of working out a solution.”
“The association is still waiting for a response to the February 6th offer by the homeowners association for the welcome home sign to stay up a couple weeks prior to the service man’s return and stay up during his leave and to be taken down after his deployment. This proposal has been approved and sent by the homeowners association many weeks ago. No response has ever been received from Mr. Pellegran,” the association said.
Meanwhile, all Marsiglia’s young daughter wants is to see her dad again.
“I miss him and I’m proud of him,” his daughter, Alex, told the station. “I wish he wasn’t in the Navy … I love him big.”
Alex was 4 when her dad left; she’s now 8. Separation has become the norm for the whole family.
“He’s out there and he’s left his daughter, that’s hard already for him,” Marsiglia’s mother, Judi Pellegran, told KATC, pointing to signs for Alex’s dad and decorations. “This is how she keeps him in her heart every day and clearly, if you see the house, it’s a homage to her daddy.”
As for the disputed sign, Pellegran doesn’t understand why it was such a big deal in the first place.
“I’m just not quite understanding why it can’t stay up and they haven’t been able to explain that to me either,” she told KATC.
The family is set to meet with the homeowners association this weekend.