Then it was pomp and ceremony--a walk down the red carpet for families and soldiers, with greetings of "Welcome home" from those who lined the way. After that, the unit gathered in formation for speeches and more congratulations from Generals and dignitaries.
Listening and waiting...
A handshake from General Tackett of the 130th Airlift Wing, and Governor Joe Manchin.
Then it was finally time to leave for the trip home. Friends, a cookout and at long last a cold beer! What better way for a soldier to end an 8000 mile journey that lasted eight days?
As the hangar emptied, the band played on.
Many thanks to the VFW, American Legion and other volunteers for arranging a fine West Virginia-style homecoming for our soldiers.