Moody Airmen return from Iraq - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Moody Airmen return from Iraq

June 11, 2004

Lowndes County - After a three-month deployment to the Middle East, more than 100 airmen from Moody Air Force Base are back home. The men and women of the 822nd Security Forces have been providing base and airfield security in Iraq. "It's just wonderful to come back home and see the support of our families," said Technical Sergeant George Stengal.

After a short return ceremony, they finally reunited with their families. "Seeing your family is one of the best things you can see when you get home," said Stengal.

It's an extra special homecoming for one member of this squadron, who almost didn't make it back. "I was run over by a humvee as we tried to move forward to care for injured individuals," said Senior Master Sergeant Richard Parsons.

Friday, Senior Master Sergeant Richard Parsons was awarded a Purple Heart for his bravery. "I equate it to the fact that Jesus Christ came and sacrificed for us and said 'no greater love a man has than he who would lay down his life for another,' and I believe that's the motto of our government and military," said Parsons.

These airmen want Americans to remember the progress they're making in Iraq, not just the violence we often hear about. "Unfortunately you see the negative aspects and not the people saying the positive things and thanking us for everything we're doing," said Stengal. "To see the people's joy to have that and not be under dictatorship is something I'll cherish for the rest of my life," said Parsons.

And something the people of Iraq will always be thankful for.

posted at 1:00 P.M. by ashley.harper@walb.com