Members of the Iowa Air National Guard’s 132nd Security Squadron were welcomed back home to Iowa Monday from six month tour in the Middle East. Brittany Ware placed her two-year-old daughter, Isabel, on the tarmac in Des Moines as soon as she spotted her husband step off the plane.
The girl toddled into the arms of her father – Staff Sergeant Andrew Ware of Ankeny — while her mother talked about returning to a normal life with her husband and two daughters. Ware said, "Can’t wait to take him out to dinner again, and go to the grocery store and just to be with the girls all over again." Staff sergeant Ware was relieved to be on the ground and surrounded by family.
"I was nervous. Ready to see them. It had been so long. Ecstatic. I’m just happy to be home," Ware said. Melanie Roland of Knoxville was all smiles as she stood with daughter Kaylee and husband – Staff Sergeant Matthew Roland – on the tarmac of the Guard’s airbase in Des Moines.
"I’m so excited. I’m shaking. I’m still nervous. I said earlier, I think I’m happier now than the day I married him. I’m just so happy right now," Roland said. Although he missed Thanksgiving, Staff Sergeant Roland did express thanks that the last leg of the journey home didn’t take long.
Roland said, "It was a short flight, thank God. I couldn’t sleep most of the way back." The Roland family plans to hold a traditional Thanksgiving feast next weekend. The 29 members of squadron had provided security at Eskan Village air base in Saudi Arabia, where troops heading to both Iraq and Afghanistan stop.