Moody troops arrive in South Georgia - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Moody troops arrive in South Georgia

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April 30, 2003

Valdosta-- More military men and women are returning to American soil. An Air Force unit from Moody Air Force Base touched down at Valdosta Airport today for a long-awaited homecoming.

Eight men and one woman came back from Operation Iraqi Freedom. A day before President Bush is expected to declare the fight is over in Iraq. The unit that returned fixes aircraft like C-130's.

Family members waited patiently to give their airmen gifts, kisses and hugs. Wives, husbands and children waiting at the Valdosta Airport for their special airman to get back on south Georgia soil.

Natasha McCabe is waiting for her husband, Kreg McCabe. "It's been difficult, a little bit to get used to not having him around because it's only the two of us," said Natasha. "It's real lonely. I bought him a rose and a large strawberry banana milkshake from Checkers waiting for him."

Finally, she gets a glimpse of Kreg. Tears start falling. In no time, her husband grabs the milkshake. "The milkshake was good. My last one was 60 days ago," said Airman Kreg McCabe. Asked what he missed the most, he replied, "Freedom."

These heroes are Airmen with the 347th Maintenance Squadron, deployed with the 71st Rescue Squadron out of Moody Air Force Base.

Kelly Sheakes is one of the airmen working hard in the Middle East. "A lot of wind storms," she said. "Half of the tents fell down." She's been away for four months.

Kelly: "It's pretty different, the food wasn't all that great, like pig slop." Like many troops, Sheakes will have to adjust. "I don't even know how to live in a house anymore, so used to living in a tent."

Others jumped right in, grabbing a beer out of the cooler. "That's the first thing I'll do, take a shower."

Looking at these happy faces, this Delta tag with the word HOME printed on it, means a whole lot more to these airmen, compared to the average traveler.

Moody Air Force Base has another unit coming home Thursday.

posted at 5:45PM by dave.miller@walb.com