Bay St. Louis woman has special gift for reservist homecoming

By Danielle Thomas - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Dozens of Air Force reservists are back in Mississippi after months serving in Iraq. Members of the 403rd Wing Security Forces Squadron were met on Thursday by friends and family who had gathered at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi. There were a lot of tears, kisses and yellow roses.

Rita Dahn watched the plane land which was carrying her son Technical Sergeant Scott Dahn and about 40 other reservists.

"He's my youngest son, my youngest child," said Dahn. "We've been waiting very patiently, but excitedly, for him to come home."

Dahn wanted to welcome home not only her son, but every member of the 403rd Wing Security Forces Squadron. So the Bay St. Louis woman greeted each one with a yellow rose.

"I want to express my gratitude for all of the men and women who are with my son in the unit," said Dahn. "I want to extend a rose to them in gratitude and thanksgiving for their sacrifice for our freedom in appreciation for what they're doing for us."

Homecomings at Keesler are put together by the Key Family Member Program. The wife of  403rd Commander James Muscatell said the work is close to her heart.

"It's exciting to coordinate the returning home of our troops," Nancy Muscatell said. "The families, of course, are really excited and it's a really fun time. Any coming home, I think, would be a huge celebration. You just want to be here to show your support for them while they've been gone. "

Rita Dahn said it was good to see her son Scott again, and even better to know that, at the same moment, other military families felt that same joy.

"It was a God moment," said Dahn. "I thank God, and I praise Him for bringing our men and women home safely. I'm truly proud to be an American and be a part of this beautiful 403rd Wing as a mother."

The security forces squadron policed military bases and patrolled the Iraqi streets during the deployment. Keesler officials say the Flying Jennies are set to deploy to the Middle East next month and will be gone for three to six months.

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