Over the last several weeks thousands of troops have been returning from Operation Iraqi Freedom.
With a flyby and final taxi to an anxiously awaiting crowd, the last group of Airmen from the 165th Air National Guard finally made it back from Operation Iraqi Freedom. While many guardsmen were surprised to be greeted by several family members, some were even more surprised to find out their own families would be expanding. "I wanted to see his reaction. I wanted to tell him in person, so I'm just glad he came back when he did. I don't know if I could of held out any longer," said Kimberly Scott, daughter of Chief Master Sergeant Robert L. Change, when talking about breaking the news to her father about her pregnancy. For Chief Master Sergeant Robert Chance, finding out he's going to be a first time grandpa was the last thing he ever expected. "Maybe a new truck, a boat, but no ma'am not this, this beats them all. It really does," said CMS Robert L. Chance.
Since the major fighting campaign that started back in March, more than 200 Guardsmen have been deployed. Even though this is the last group to come home, they're still on rotation which means they could be deployed again. Although redeployment is the last thing on anyone's mind right now, many of these Guardsmen are just glad they're home and are very proud to have been a part of this mission. "It was definitely a great experience, a great group of people that I worked with. We did a fantastic job and I couldn't have been more proud to be serving my country," said Senior Airman John Albis.
There are members of the 165th Air Lift Wing who have been recently deployed or re deployed to the middle east. There is still no official word when they'll be returning home.