Oklahoma Soldiers Return From Iraq

Wednesday, May 20th 2009, 12:05 pm
By: News On 6

By Dan Bewley and Scott Thompson, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Members of Muskogee's 341st Engineering Company enjoyed a happy homecoming on Wednesday.  They are back home after a year in Iraq.

The 341st helped build bridges while serving in the Middle East.  They're now back in the loving arms of family and friends.

Six-year-old Drake and nine-year-old Paxton seemed to be playing without a care in the world while waiting at Tulsa International Airport.  It's a different story for their mom as flight 5281 gets closer to home.

Kama Brown's husband is with the 341st Engineering Company out of Muskogee.  The soldiers are coming home after a year deployment in Iraq.

"We've had our hard times, but no way we could have got through it without God," said Kama Brown.

While Drake has brought his dad's favorite pack of gum, his sister is looking forward to summer with her diving buddy.

"Me and him like to swim. I'll get on his shoulders and me and him will dive.  It's fun," said Paxton Brown.

After 12 months without her husband, Brown finally gets the call.

They've landed," said Kama Brown.

A short time later the soldiers appeared through the gate and they're home.

"It's wonderful. It's been too long, way too long," said SSgt. Leddy Brown.

"Just feels good to be home," said Sgt. Kevin Bradley.

It's a good feeling, too, for a new dad.  Specialist Justin Hicks hasn't seen his now eight-month-old daughter since she was two weeks old. 

The closeness of family, Staff Sergeant Brown says, is what kept him going over the last year.

"Yeah, it's all you think about.  It's what brings you back," said SSgt. Leddy Brown.

Homecomings were the order of the day at Tulsa International.

Travis Terrell had his own tear-filled reunion.  He's on leave while serving for the Navy at Guantanamo Bay.

Terrell will return to Cuba June 1st.

The members of the 341st have finished their assignment.

Sgt. Seth Herriman is also back in Oklahoma after nearly a year in Iraq.  He's an engineer who's been literally building bridges with the Iraqi army. 

Even strangers stopped looking for their luggage to give him a round of applause.