Keesler Welcomes Home Troops - - The News for South Mississippi

Keesler Welcomes Home Troops

For the first four months of this year Keesler personnel from medical and engineering squadrons have served in some of the most volatile spots in the world - Iraq, Kuwait, and Afghanistan just to name a few. So Tuesday, Keesler threw a welcome home party for them.

Sgt. Garfield Adams has served in Iraq twice. 

"When we got back, we hadn't seen each other and to see everybody here again today is nice," he says. 

Airman Jessica Rowe says, "We haven't really all been together since we've been back, so I guess to catch up on how people are doing since we've been home."

Most of the group are medical personnel. Their skills put them right on the front lines of battle. 

Sgt. John Carter says, "Initially when the casualties came in by helicopter, we would actually take them off. And I was usually one of the first to respond and take the patients from the helicopter."  

Knowing her husband was in a danger zone was a bit unsettling for Donnell Carter. 

"I tried to pretend he was somewhere else. I wouldn't watch the news, I was too scared. He'd call at least once a week and when he didn't, I would get a little nervous. But you know, we kept in touch as much as we could."

While feasting on burgers, baked beans and hot dogs, thoughts are with those still fighting the war. 

Airman Angela Ibarra says, "I kind of feel like we have a job that's still not finished over there. I ran into a friend I went to college with, he's still over there in the Army. So I think about him a lot."

At any given time about 50 Keesler personnel are stationed at bases around the world.

by Marcia Hill

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