Deployed airmen return to cheers, hugs at Yokota
January 27, 2008
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — Greeted with cheers, applause and hugs from friends and family, roughly 110 airmen returned from war zones to Yokota during the past week.
With one group arriving on Wednesday and two groups on Friday, the airmen were deployed as part of Air and Space Expeditionary Forces 3-4 and 9-10, serving for approximately 120 days in various parts of the Central Command area of responsibility.
During the past year, 980 airmen from Yokota were deployed, with the majority of them heading to Iraq and Kuwait, explained Capt. Peter Shore, the Installation Deployment Officer for the 374th Logistics Readiness Squadron.
“The squadrons that were most heavily tasked were 374th Logistics Readiness Squadron, Civil Engineering Squadron, Security Forces Squadron, 36th Airlift Squadron and 374th Maintenance Group,” he said in an e-mail to Stars and Stripes.
Sharing a long embrace in the middle of the passenger terminal Friday, Senior Airman Jared Peters and his wife, Courtney, said they were glad to be reunited.
“It’s really nice that he’s home,” she said.
Even though her husband, Tech. Sgt. Joey Johnson, missed both Thanksgiving and Christmas during this deployment, Tabitha Johnson said the deployment was not as bad as previous ones for her family.
“We’ve done this a couple times now,” she said, adding that her mother visited during the holidays, making things a little easier. “I’m just glad he’s home now.”
Joey Johnson, weary from his long flight, said he is looking forward to some downtime.
“It’s great to be home,” he said, smiling. “I’m really looking forward to spending time with the family, taking some time off and readjusting.”