BAMBERG, Germany — Some 1st Infantry Division family members in Bamberg’s Warner Barracks had mixed reactions Sunday over news that their soldiers may have to remain in Iraq through the Iraq elections.

A news story on the Department of Defense Web site said that about 3,000 1st ID soldiers would remain in Iraq to provide security during the country’s elections in January.

About 3,500 soldiers from the 2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division out of Fort Hood, Texas, also would remain, according to the Web site.

The 1st ID deployed to Iraq in February. The change will bring the deployment, which soldiers and families expected to be 10 months, to a full year, according to the DOD Web site.

Some spouses had not heard the news until they talked to Stars and Stripes about it, while others found out Saturday or Sunday through phone calls from their husbands.

None of the spouses Stars and Stripes talked to had been officially notified by the Army or the unit’s Family Readiness Group of the change.

“It’s just what we’ve got to do,” said Anna Dietrich, whose husband is attached to the 82nd Engineer Battalion in Iraq.

“It’s not that big of a surprise, really.”

Dietrich said she had heard earlier this year from her husband, Staff Sgt. Larry Dietrich, that the unit was expected to come home after only 10 months downrange.

“He told me not to get my hopes up then,” Dietrich said. “(The news) is a disappointment, but we know that it is what he has got to do.”

Other spouses, like Rosetta DiMeglio, said even the 10-month deployment that 1st ID soldiers and families were counting on was too long.

“I just don’t think it’s right to extend them,” said DiMeglio, whose husband, Master Sgt. Vincent DiMeglio of 1st Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment, called her Sunday to break the news. “A year is too long. I’ve always thought this should be a six-month deployment. It’s a long time to be separated.”

Emily Daigle, whose husband is with the 1st Battalion, 33rd Field Artillery Regiment, called the news “unfair.”

“You know when things like this happen, it’s not only the soldiers who lose morale. Kids lose morale, too,” she said.

Other spouses said that the extension earlier this year of the 1st Armored Division led them to believe the same would happen to the 1st ID.

“I had a hunch; I could feel it in my heart that something like this would happen,” said Chris Watts. Her husband, Sgt. Thomas Watts is assigned to the 1st Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment in Iraq.

“1st AD got extended, so I was sort of expecting this” Watts said.

Samantha Holley had an early warning of a possible extension while her husband, Spc. Kenneth Holley, of the 82nd Engineer Battalion, was home on leave two weeks ago.

“He told me that there was talk of this happening,” Holley said. “I was expecting it. The unit told us in a meeting before the soldiers left not to be surprised if their return date changes.”

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