Fort Rucker Troops Return Home

By: Deborah Tuff
By: Deborah Tuff

In the wee hours of Thursday morning, the B Company 46th Engineer Batallion Unit marched into Fort Rucker’s Aviation Museum.

They'd accomplished their mission and were to be reunited with their loved ones after supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Emily Wolero's husband Nicolas is apart of the unit.

"A lot emotions very glad that the Lord blessed us and that they are home safely," says Solero.

For a year, the unit built 40 homes in the war torn area, mainly to improve living conditions for service members at the base camp.

"People don't understand really, how hard it is over there," says Nicolas.

But the soldiers who had been trained and left as Sergeants and Corporals returned as parents, children, relatives, and friends.

Peggy Christensen says her daughter just left for Iraq in March, her son returned with the 46th Thursday, his second tour.

Peggy says, "I went through this with him already. My motto is stay strong and think positive."

But in the midst of the celebration, folks couldn't forget the lives of two soldiers whose lives were lost during combat.

"It's a real tragedy, there's no words to describe the loss of a soldier," says Col. Mike Dixon, the 1st Aviation Brigade Commander.

And the returning soldiers say they now have one thing in mind.

"Relax! that's about it," says a troop.

The soldiers will now go through a week of societal reintegration training. The soldiers who died are Sergeant Carlos Pernell and Corporal Andy Anderson; both of the men’s families did attend today's welcome back ceremony, but were so overcome with grief by the passings, they weren't ready to be interviewed.

Also, two soldiers received Purple Hearts after they were wounded.

There will be an official Fort Rucker welcome back ceremony on Oct. 20, as the date approaches we'll give you more details.


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