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Avoca family among those at landing

PITTSTON TWP. – Sherwood Grabiec brought his family to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport to catch a glimpse of history Tuesday night.

The Avoca resident, along with his wife, Valerie, and their 12-year-old son, Gregory, were among a small group of six people who stood outside a security gate hoping to see Sen. John McCain.

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee arrived at the airport via the “Straight Talk Express,” a white, blue and gold Boeing 737 emblazoned with McCain’s name, his campaign’s Web site address, and his campaign slogan “Reform, Prosperity and Peace.”

The Arizona senator’s plane touched down at 8:54 p.m. with very little fanfare. There were no local, state or national dignitaries. The only ones inside the gate were 11 members of the media, several Secret Service agents, a few PA state troopers and a handful of airport employees.

Following a brief taxi by the plane, Secret Service agents and members of the media who travel with McCain got off near the rear of the plane. A few minutes later, McCain exited. He didn’t acknowledge several members of the local and national media, and quickly got into a silver SUV.

Moments later, the five-vehicle motorcade – led by a PA state police car – left the tarmac. As the motorcade made its way past the security gate, members of the Grabiec family and a few others waved at McCain.

He waved back.

“This is history,” Sherwood Grabiec said. “We live in close proximity to the airport, so we’ve been able to see all three presidential nominees – Sen. (Hillary) Clinton, Sen. (Barack) Obama, and now Sen. McCain.”

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