Air Guard Members Home From War

By: Jenny Rabin
By: Jenny Rabin

Thirteen members of the Nevada Air National Guard arrived home Wednesday afternoon after a lengthy deployment in Saudi Arabia.

The men and women spent between three and six months at the Prince Sultan Airbase, supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

A crowd of family, friends and fellow Air Guardsman waived their flags as the C-130 pulled up to Reno's Air National Guard base, carrying thirteen airmen who've spent the last six months at Prince Sultan Airbase in Saudi Arabia.

"It's exciting, it's overwhelming - it's surreal to be honest," said Staff Sgt. Richard Linnenbrink. "Didn't think we'd ever make it home at one point there."

The troops' missions included anti-terrorism activities and protection for high-ranking American and Allied officials.

Airman Lisa Garlington spent the past three months in Saudi Arabia, leaving her husband home alone to care for their three children. "We're going to go home and surprise them. They have no idea that I'm home so I'm going to show up with ice cream for them," she said.

Plenty of children did show up at the airport to meet their parents, but one-year-old Megan Roberson didn't recognize her dad.

"We did a turn-around deployment - the majority of this team. We got deployed for five months then returned for three and then got deployed again so we've been gone for quite a few months," said Master Sgt. Bobby Roberson.

So, Megan didn't recognize her dad but four-year-old Ryan certainly did. "This is daddy . . . I love you daddy," he said.

"It's just great. I can't even describe it right now. I'm home, " Sgt. Roberson said.

And what's the first thing he and Ryan are going to do when they get home? "Me and dad are going to play crash bash," his son said.

That's a videogame if you're wondering. Dad says he doesn't care what they do as long as they get to do it together!


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