The Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort is coming home, and on board will be Chief Mate Charles "Chip" Zulauf, the "daddy" of the song, "Santa, Can You Bring My Daddy Home?" recorded by students at St. Clare Elementary School in Essex.
The song honoring military personnel deployed in the Middle East was heard on local radio stations and sung live on ABC's "Good Morning America." It was written by Jane Matarozza, St. Clare's music teacher, and her husband, Daryl, a physical education teacher at the school at 714 Myrth Ave. It was inspired by fourth-grader Lindsey Zulauf, who had talked about missing her father.
The Comfort, in the Persian Gulf nine months, is to return to Dundalk Marine Terminal at 1 p.m. Monday.
A new song, called "Welcome Home," has been written for the occasion.
The Comfort was activated for duty on Aug. 8, soon after President Bush deployed American troops to Saudi Arabia in response to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait.