Military News

Troops come home to warm welcome on a chilly day (See photo gallery)

Saturday afternoon was just like Christmas morning for September and Myca Frogley.

It was the day their husbands, Spc. Travis Frogley and Spc. Jared Frogley, finally came home.

"It's been a long time coming," September Frogley said, minutes before tearfully jumping into Travis' arms.

The Frogley brothers were among 147 members of the Idaho National Guard's 1-183rd Aviation Battalion who returned to Boise on Saturday after serving a 12-month deployment in Afghanistan.

Hundreds of family members and friends bearing flags and posters rushed the tarmac at Gowen Field, screaming and clapping as the first camouflage-clad soldiers stepped off the plane into the chill wind.

They arrived on time from Fort Hood, Texas, where they had spent five days debriefing, said Idaho National Guard spokeswoman Lt. Col. Stephanie Dowling.

Aside from a band playing a patriotic tune, there was little military pomp and circumstance to the arrival.

For the soldiers, the day was all about getting back to their families.

Before the plane's arrival, those waiting stood in tight bunches to guard against the cold, with their eyes glued to the sky.

Anne Caldwell of Kuna said she was "excited and nervous all at the same time" as she waited with her sons for husband Jody Caldwell.

"This is crazy," she said, clutching a small American flag.

With the sleeves of a bright pink windbreaker stretched down over her hands and the hood pulled tight around her face, Kari Lake stood on tip-toes, scanning the horizon for the plane that would bring back her husband, Ron Lake.

Lake said she took up home-improvement projects, got a new job and ran marathons to keep busy while her husband was away.

"It's just joy," she said of his return.

Patti Glorfield knows what it means to wait.

With the exception of brief leave periods, it had been 34 months since she was with her husband, Staff Sgt. Anthony Glorfield.

Patti, a staff sergeant with the National Guard's 116th Cavalry, returned from an 18-month deployment to Iraq in November 2005. Anthony had just left with the 1-183rd the month before.

The 1-183rd had served in Afghanistan since February 2006 on a mission that included combat in Apache helicopters, troop and equipment transport, and medical care for soldiers and injured Afghan civilians.

The first group of about 50 soldiers returned Feb. 18. The last group, about 50 more, will return in the next week, Dowling said.

Now that they're home, the soldiers will have to adjust to life as usual — but maybe not quite yet.

September Frogley said she wants her husband to have a few weeks to decompress without having to worry about "the little household things." 

She and sister-in-law Myca made a run to Costco to stock up on their husbands' favorite foods — steaks and milk, September said — and the two families are planning a trip to Mexico in a couple of weeks.

"I think that it will take some adjusting time for both him and I," September Frogley said. "I'm going to have to learn to rely on him again, and he's going to have to adjust to being home in a different setting."

Others can't wait to get back to their routines.

Clutching a blue pillow, Kevin Stokes, a pilot with the 1-183rd, said he's looking forward to returning to work with the phone company.

"It's a nice, quiet job," Stokes said. "It pays well. You don't get shot at." 

Contact reporter Hilary Costa at 672-6730 or e-mail hcosta@idahostatesman.com.

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