Tisbury firefighter returns from National Guard


The Tisbury Fire Department didn’t let Sheldon Ebanks’ return from National Guard training go by without fanfare. Friday night, members of the department, including Fire Chief Greg Leland, met Ebanks at the Steamship Authority’s Vineyard Haven terminal with a fire truck salute. 

Ebanks underwent a prolonged period of basic training and other training due to pandemic-related travel restrictions imposed by the Army. In a telephone interview Monday, Ebanks said he left the Vineyard on Sept. 23, and wound up in lockdown at bases in Oklahoma and Texas for periods beyond his allotted training times. 

“You just don’t think about it,” he said. “You just do what you have to do — accept it and go along with it.”

When he finally returned March 20, a half-year later, he said he got “no indication” he was going to get such a reception. “I was pretty taken aback — pleasantly,” he said. “It felt good.”

Also at the terminal was Ebank’s wife, Alexia, whom he quickly embraced.

Now that he’s home, among other things, Ebanks said he’s looking forward to “just being able to relax and listen to music.”