Friends, family welcome Air National Guard members home
By AUSTIN HUGUELET | Wyoming Tribune-Eagle | Published: January 14, 2018
CHEYENNE, Wy. (Tribune News Service) – After around 30 minutes of waiting on the tarmac and roughly 70 days in all, there wasn’t much to say.
Samantha Ingram had talked to her husband, Capt. Kai Ingram, as much as she could while he was overseas, but the first thing she wanted when he stepped off the Wyoming Air National Guard C-130 Saturday afternoon was a big hug.
“I told him ‘Welcome home,’ that’s all I remember,” she said. “That and crying.”
Capt. Ingram was among 44 members of the Wyoming Air National Guard’s 153rd Airlift Wing returning home Saturday to cheers and tears.
Gov. Matt Mead and Wyoming Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Luke Reiner were also on hand at the base to thank the servicemembers upon their arrival.
The airmen were returning to the U.S. after a little more than two months of operations out of Ali Al Salem Air Base in Kuwait, Col. Justin Walrath, the wing commander, said.
Their work focused on support operations throughout the Middle Eastern theatre, Walrath added, including Iraq, Afghanistan and the fight against the Islamic State.
Ingram, who lives in Cheyenne and is one of the Wing’s C-130 pilots, said he kept busy on his first deployment.
Senior Master Sgt. Marshall Davis seconded that, saying the ample work made the time away from his wife, Jennifer, and their two kids go by a little faster.
Ingram added that it was cool to be overseas when Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory over the Islamic State in his country in December.
Iraqi forces, supported by an American-led coalition, had retaken the country’s major urban areas, including Mosul, after three years of fighting to regain territory lost to the rogue state.
But both men were looking forward to spending some time back on Wyoming soil.
“Yeah, it’s good to be home,” Ingram said. “Super happy to be home.”
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