Guardsmen Return Home
Amanda Chipps stood in front of the National Armory in Southern Pines on Tuesday morning clutching a bouquet of flowers accented with a small American Flag.
“I can smell the diesel from the buses,” she said with a smile.
Chipps was one of about 150 family members, friends and others from the community who gathered at the armory to welcome home about 50 members of Company C 252nd Combined Arms Battalion.
Minutes after Chipps made her declaration, family members cheered and waved as two buses carrying the soliders home rolled down Morganton Road.
Their arrival was the culmination of a long 14 months for family and friends.
“Its been a roller coaster ride,” said Teresa McLean, “but I am glad to be part of this ride, especially now because its over. They are home.”
McLean along with Chipps had been instrumental in organizing a welcome home for the guardsmen. McLean’s son, and Chipps’ husband are members of the battalion.
Eighty-seven soldiers from several states, including North Carolina, are serving in the battalion, which left for Iraq in April after four months of training.
For more on this story, see Wednesday's edition of The Pilot.
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