Homecoming in Boone: Iowa Guard soldiers return from Afghanistan
Jul 14, 2011 | by Josh Hafner
Capt. Corey Langman of Waukee kisses his daughter, Sophie, 9 months, during a homecoming ceremony Thursday at Boone High School for about 85 soldiers from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, Iowa Army National Guard. It was only the second time Langman had seen his daughter, due to his deployment.
About 85 members of the Iowa Guard’s Headquarters and Headquarters Company ended their yearlong deployment in Afghanistan and reunited with loved ones during a homecoming ceremony in the Boone High School gym.
Geneva Templeton, of Ames, got a seat in the gymnasium’s first row with her 2-year-old son, Chase, on her lap. The boy patiently held a blue balloon in his hand for his father, Sgt. First Class B.J. Templeton. Chase has gone half of his young life without his father.
“It will be quite an adjustment period, coming home to a 2-year-old,” Geneva said. “I’ve been busy with him and work and keeping up the house. It will be good to have (B.J.) back.”
Before Chase was born, B.J. also served in Iraq. Geneva said that for soldiers returning from deployment, settling in can be both relaxing and difficult.
Sydnee Wrage, 13, of Polk City holds a sign for her father, sfc. Shane Wrage during a homecoming ceremony Thursday at Boone High School for about 85 soldiers from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, Iowa Army National Guard.
“It’s never the same,” she said. “Them getting back into finding a job, a normal life, is not always easy.”
Across the gym, Christine Post held up a long banner that read: “Welcome home! We are proud of you!” with photos of her husband, Major Doug Post, and son, Sgt. Mitchell Songer. They served this deployment together in Bagram.
Doug returns today with Mitchell – whose homecoming is next week – close behind.
For Christine, the military is a family affair. Doug and Mitchell also served together in Iraq from 2005 to 2006. They spent Father’s Day together, and Doug was Mitchell’s company commander.
“This is old hat,” she said, straightening out the banner.
She drove to Boone in a red Hummer with a Wapello tag that read ‘GRDFMLY” (Guard family). Its back window has Doug’s and Mitchell’s names and ranks with the words, “’Till they come home.”
That day finally has come.
The soldiers marched out to the gym’s center to great applause and, after some words, a song and a benediction, were released. B.J darted to one corner of the gym and Doug to another, dodging the other husbands, wives and children who ran to their soldiers with a magnetic pull.
“I’m just very positive,” Doug said, alongside most of his family again. “[The emotions] are very heightened when you get here and relaxed when you finally get to your family.”
(c) DesMoines Register
[Editor note: For more great pictures, go here]