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14th Fighter Squadron returns from Iraq

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. A.C. Eggman
  • 35th Fighter Wing public affairs
Good things come to those who wait. In this case, the good thing was about 300 Misawa Airmen being reunited with their families Saturday after a five-month deployment.

It seemed as though the forces were against Misawa's 14th Fighter Squadron Airmen getting home after supporting the Global War on Terror in Iraq. First, mechanical problems stranded the group in Qatar. Then, they were delayed again due to a cyclone postponing the homecoming about three days all together.

Hangar 949 began filling with anxious families, friends and base leadership more than hour before the flight was due to arrive.

"It's been stressful (the delays),"said Erika Coleman, wife of Staff Sgt. Spencer Coleman, 35th Maintenance Squadron crew chief. "My son was so disappointed the first few days, so I stopped telling him (about the time changes)."

With a 2- and 3-year-olds and one on the way, Mrs. Coleman said she's very happy he was coming home. "It's been hard dealing with the children by myself and being the disciplinarian."

Kathleen Whiting was so excited she was up all night. "I couldn't fall sleep," said the wife of Tech. Sgt. Jeff Whiting, 35th Maintenance Squadron. "I was ready at least 10 times (delays) ago."

Since the children aren't going let dad out of sight, the family planned to relax, grill and enjoy getting to know each other again, she said.

"It was nice to see all of my friends," said Airman 1st Class John Samick, 35th Maintenance Squadron. "It's been long. I'm happy to be back." The 19-year-old said he was looking forward to wearing civilian clothes again and "catching up on my sleep."
Co-worker Airman 1st Class Christopher Reed said time seemed to go by slow there and heat was the biggest challenge.

"Heat, stress and sand for miles and miles," said the 20-year-old, who also looks forward to catching up on his sleep.

For one technical sergeant, spending the rest of the day, soaking in the tub was her perfect idea of being home.

"It's terrific to be back," said Tech. Sgt. Crystal Burnett, 35th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. "I missed time to myself. I want to get into the tub and stay there all day."
Many of the families agreed they were looking forward to alone time, getting to know each other and just relaxing for the next few days.