Monday, January 22, 2007

i did say welcome home the other day

but you can NEVER say welcome home enough to someone in the armed services who is returning.

and a special thank you to staff sgt mark tripp. your service is most appreciated

Getting A Salute For Their Service Guard Members Spent 18 Months In Iraq

By MONICA POLANCO Courant Staff Writer January 21 2007
WINDSOR LOCKS -- Staff Sgt. Mark Tripp was in the middle of a sentence, trying to sum up his second deployment in Iraq, when a soldier walked over and extended his hand."Better late than never," the man said, never breaking his stride.That sentiment was expressed more than once Saturday at the Army Aviation Support Facility in Windsor Locks during an official welcome-home ceremony for more than 30 soldiers in the Connecticut National Guard's 126th Aviation Regiment. The soldiers spent 18 months in Iraq, and returned in September.Nine soldiers, including Tripp, volunteered for more than one deployment and will receive a freedom ring, a new token of appreciation for soldiers who volunteer to return to Iraq. Welcoming ceremonies are postponed for at least 90 days after soldiers arrive from deployments."Coming off the plane or bus, the last thing they want to do is stand in formation," said Lt. Col. John Whitford, a spokesman for the Connecticut National Guard, which includes 5,000 soldiers.After the event, Whitford said he expects about six more welcome-home ceremonies this year. He also said fewer Connecticut National Guard troops are expected to be deployed to Iraq this year, but he declined to elaborate, saying it was too soon to know for sure."The numbers that we're looking at right now are less than what we had deployed in '06," he said..........

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