CG-Belgium volleyball teams bump up military father’s morale

CEDAR GROVE-BELGIUM junior varsity volleyball father Jeff Vanderbeek, scheduled to go on his fifth deployment overseas received a support surprise from the entire Rockets volleyball program. Players and coaches wore shirts saying “Thank you Jeff” with his daughter Kaydin’s reading, “Thank you Dad” at the teams’ regular season finale at St. Mary Central and during the annual banquet on Monday. Jeff got a hug from some players at the game. Above photo by Sam Arendt; right photo courtesy of Melissa Kamin-Vanderbeek
Ozaukee Press staff

Kaydin Vanderbeek was at an orthodontist appointment when her mother received a call from Cedar Grove-Belgium High School’s junior varsity volleyball coach.

The team, she was told, wanted to do something for Kaydin’s father Jeff, who is scheduled to be deployed for the fifth time her life, this time via the Air National Guard.

They suggested creating shirts that say “Thank you Jeff” with the Air Force logo.

There was only one regular season match left and it was at St. Mary Central in Neenah. Melissa Kamin-Vanderbeek, Kaydin’s mother and Jeff’s wife, had to convince him to go to the game. She told him all the parents were going.

At the game, he was confused why Kaydin was so excited until Melissa told him to look at the team’s shirts.

Each player gave him a hug.

The “big huge guy who doesn’t cry,” Melissa said, “cried a little bit.”

Even Melissa was surprised. All three teams wore the shirts and put Air Force ribbons in their hair.

Jeff is scheduled to leave Nov. 29 for Operation Inherent Resolve Afghanistan and be gone less than three months.

He has been to the Middle East and Europe several more times in his career.



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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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