Soldier return after days of disappointment
The Deep Attack Battalion has set a record that nobody wants to have: most delays on a homecoming flight.
The 260 or so soldiers of 2nd Battalion, 4th Field Artillery (FA), were originally penciled in for a redeployment ceremony here at 2 p.m. Thursday. Then, in a burst of over-optimism, the time was moved up to 12:30 p.m. Thursday.
No such luck. Due to engine problems, 2-4 FA got bogged down in Alaska. The ceremony time was first pushed back to 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Then, because of more engine problems, to 12:30 p.m. Friday. By that point, the flight crew had been up for so long it had to go into a mandatory rest period.
The next time announced was 7:30 p.m. Saturday. It was again put on hold indefinitely while the soldiers cooled their heels at a military base in Anchorage, Alaska.
Finally they're back. At long last the formation trooped into Rinehart Fitness Center, none the worse for wear, at 10 p.m. Sunday.
If absence makes the heart grow fonder, their families must be pressing them very close indeed right about now.
Katelyn Nixon, wife of the battalion's plans and operations officer, Capt. David Nixon, was patiently waiting with their two children, Mia, 6, and Weston, 1, for the ceremony to start. He previously went on a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan, so she knew what to expect. This nine-month deployment to Korea had a four-day extension due to the delays.