by Staff Sgt. Armando Vasquez, 108th Wing Public Affairs
JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST — Airmen from the 108th Security Forces Squadron have been counting down the days until their returned home since their departure for Iraq earlier this summer.
Eight Airmen returned home from Iraq to hugs and kisses late Dec. 2, and were finally reunited with their loved ones here.
The Airmen served honorably in the Middle East for approximately six months where they returned just in time for the holiday season, as the drawdown of military troops from Iraq continues.
Although Mary Bunce, a Wrightstown resident, said she Skyped at least once a week with her husband, Staff Sgt. Donald Bunce, she was happy to finally have him back.
“We’ll plan a trip to the Caribbean next year,” said Bunce.
She said they just want to enjoy their reunion for now, and their fifth wedding anniversary in February.
Many of the Airmen said they are grateful to be home early for the holiday season.
“I am ecstatic!” said Senior Airman Keri Wanner of Scotch Plains, “It’s all so surreal.”
With the help of her father, Kevin, Wanner plans to surprise her family. “Nobody knows I am back except my father,” said Wanner.
“It’s always nice to get our Airmen back from overseas,” said Lt. Col. Brian Griefer, 108th SFS commander. “These are our missions, but it feels good when they come back safely, especially from over there.”
During their deployment in Iraq, the security forces Airmen conducted air base defense, which consisted of ensuring the security of the base, manning the gates for entry and exit into the base, and perimeter patrols.
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