Monday, December 19, 2011

Welcome Home, US Troops

Welcome home, Staff Sgt. Elama Palemene!
He was kissing his wife and holding his two young daughters Sunday morning after returning to Fort Hood with about 300 other soldiers. They are some of the last U.S. combat troops returning from Iraq in time for the holidays.

They arrived about 3 a.m. to a cheering, flag-waving crowd of relatives, wives and   children on a field at the Texas Army post.

 His wife, Annaden Palemene, said that her husband had wanted the children to stay home, but that she wanted them to be there to greet their father.  She held a large sign that read "Sgt. Palemene, Your Tour Stops Here."

The soldiers from the 2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division said they were glad to be home for the holidays and that they are relieved to be out of Iraq.

The soldiers were among many returning to Fort Hood recently. Nearly one group per day is returning because of the troop withdrawal.

Many of the soldiers said they were happy to hear the news that the last U.S. combat troops rolled out of Iraq across the border into neighboring Kuwait at daybreak Sunday.

Palemene said it felt good to be home.  He hopes the country remembers that U.S. troops are still in Afghanistan and that soldiers are still serving elsewhere in the world.  

We are grateful for Staff Sgt. Elama Palemene’s, and the rest of the troops, safe return.  Our thanks, also, to the soldiers that are still fighting for democracy around the world. 

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families that have lost their loved ones in the war.  The patriotic duties they have performed will not be forgotten.

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