GFAFB Security Force Come Home From IraqIt was a big climate change for a group of soldiers returning to Grand Forks from Iraq, Tuesday. But nobody was complaining. Since July 13, members of the Grand Forks Air Force base security force have been on a mission at a military base in Iraq.
By: David Schwab, WDAZ
It's homecoming day for eleven soldiers from the Grand Forks Air Force Base. They landed Tuesday afternoon at the Grand Forks airport after serving 6 months at the Joint Balad Military base in Iraq.
"We handled the protection of all the resources, which are all the aircraft and personal on the installation," said Tech Sgt. Stephanie Eley.
Two of the members of the 13-member security team had returned earlier for personal reasons. The rest came home safely Tuesday. Soldiers filed off the plane and into the Grand Forks International Airport to hugs and handshakes from about 40 of their fellow airmen, friends and family.
"I look forward to wearing my own clothes, somme sweat pants and hooded sweat shirt, curling up on my own couch," says Eley.
Eley says the mission may have been considered safer because the security they provided was inside the fence on the military base.
"The mission has changed drastically over there. But we are still in a country that is torn. And we just try and make the best of it. We have eachother," says Eley.
First Class Airman Cody Lowe says the security force did put in some long hours, but the military does its best to make the soldiers feel at home.
"There are a lot of rec centers where you can go play to ping pong, pool, (and) just hang out," says Lowe.
Lowe, who grew up in Sioux Falls, came back with a winter tan. He says it shouldn't take him long to re-adjust to today's single digit temps, much different than the last six months in Iraq.