Jenco in Germany, awaits reunion
Stars and Stripes July 28, 1986
RHEIN-MAIN AB, Germany — The Rev. Lawrence M. Jenco gave the thumbs-up sign and waved a small American flag after arriving in Germany Sunday, his first stop on the way home after 19 months as a captive of Moslem extremists in Lebanon.
The 51-year-old Roman Catholic priest was dressed in black clerical garb and appeared to be in high spirits. He hugged and shook hands with officials who met the Air Force C-9 Nightingale aircraft. U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Burt and Ambassador Robert Oakley, a State Department anti-terrorist expert, were among those greeting the plane after its 3:30 p.m. landing.
Arriving on the flight with Jenco was Terry Waite, special Middle East envoy of the Church of England. The plane also carried Lt. Col. Calvin Neptune III, a social worker, and David R. McDuff, a psychiatrist. Both are assigned to the 7th Medical Comd in Heidelberg.
After waving to the small crowd consisting of spectators and members of the news media, Jenco was seated in a tan van and was quickly driven off on the 20-mile ride to the Air Force Regional Medical Center in Wiesbaden.
He was greeted there by about 150 patients, visitors and hospital staffers, many of them waving from balconies that had been festooned with American flags.
In response to questions shouted by reporters, Jenco said: "I am fine. I'm happy."
Jenco, of Joliet, Ill., was asked by a Chicago television crew whether he had anything to say to the people of Chicago. "It's a windy city, and I want to feel that wind again on my face," he said.
Jenco was to undergo medical tests Sunday evening. Family members were to stage a reunion at the hospital on Monday.
The military hospital plane was flown to Damascus Saturday night. Crew members were from the 55th Aeromedical Airlift Sq. Medical personnel aboard the flight are assigned to the 2nd Aeromedical Evacuation Sq. Both units are assigned to the Rhein-Main base.
Military officials greeting the plane at Rhein-Main included Col. Bruce L. Fister, commander of the 435th Tac Airlift Wing, and Maj. Gen. Monte Miller, the EUCOM surgeon general.
The plane's flight crew consisted of Maj. Gerald M. Wempe, Capt. Thomas W. Buskirk, Capt. John D. Loika, Capt. Steven L. Stricklin, Sgt. Levy Riley Jr. and 1st Lt. Lorrie A. Hayward. Members of the medical crew were Capt. Martha C. Simon, Staff Sgt. Larry D. Jones, Senior Airman Luis E. Perez and Master Sgt. Roger D. Rose.