Pope airmen return home from Iraq


Children wave flags like crazy. Wives and girlfriends take pictures at Green Ramp.

It's all part of the welcome home celebration for members of the 43rd Maintenance Group. The airmen spent four months in Iraq. Their mission was simple -- resupply the troops and help keep them alive.

"They keep them off the road," Vice Wing Commander Col. John McDonald said. "There are no American soldiers that are going into Iraq on the roads. We're taking them in the 130s and distributing them --- and in the C-17s --- and distributing them throughout Iraq so that they're not on those dangerous roads."

It wasn't long after the airmen got off the plane that the stampede began. The neatest thing was watching the reunions between fathers and their children.

Although they haven't seen their families in four months, technology made the separations a little easier to bare.

"Well, she keeps me updated," Sgt. Robert Alexandar said. "I get a lot of photos of what they're doing and we send videos back and forth. But, yeah, they're definitely a little bigger. They seem to --- this guy is talking a ton so --- it's pretty exciting."

The airmen will get 14 days reconstitution. That means they get a chance to stay home for the next couple of weeks and enjoy their families.

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