Utah Air Guardsmen return home for the holidays
By Maj. Krista DeAngelis, 151st ARW/PA
/ Published December 05, 2008
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah -- "Warm up your hugs and kisses, they're four minutes out," announced the voice from the base loudspeaker as the long-awaited C-130 landed on the Salt Lake City tarmac Nov. 22.
After six months of separation from their family and friends, 25 members of the Utah Air National Guard's 151st Security Forces Squadron arrived home from their deployment to a cheering crowd, an arch of fire truck hoses, media cameras and a group of Patriot Guard motorcycle riders.
Some family members could hardly contain their excitement as they paced around in anticipation of the service members' return from supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
"I miss him so much, and I'm very happy to have him back," shouted nine-year-old Austin Davis as he eagerly waited to catch a glimpse of his dad, Master Sgt. Brent Davis. "We have a big banner sign in our yard saying, 'Welcome Home, Dad.' It's just really exciting to have him back."
The SFS Airmen deployed on May 16, 2008 to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. During that time, they provided force protection for deployed coalition and non-combatant forces, convoy security, base defense and law enforcement.
"We are very excited to have them home again," said 1st Lt. Kevin Larsen, 151st SFS commander. "They performed their mission superbly, and their families are thrilled to have them back."
In preparation for their return, the SFS hosted fun events for the children of the deployed Airmen that included crafts and games. Some of the children even created clothing and posters to celebrate their family member's arrival.
"Almost every kid whose dad is gone has a shirt with pictures of his or her dad on it," said Austin Davis, as he modeled his white t-shirt stenciled with a photo of Master Sgt. Davis. "I also colored a banner and drew a big American flag on it."
The group arrived home just in time for the holidays.