Troops return makes the best homecoming yet
By Michael Johnson, Editor
Homecoming was especially sweet for two families of three troops who returned home after a yearlong mission in Basra, Iraq. Patrice and Duane Gedrose just finished celebrating after their son Jordan was crowned king at Washburn’s homecoming coronation. The next day they celebrated again when their son Michael made his homecoming from his call of duty. Deb and Randy Reimer had reason to celebrate too, when their twin sons Chad and Jared made it home. The streets of Washburn were filled with honking horns and sirens as the men were paraded through town after the convoy met them at the Painted Woods Golf Course. Gedrose and the Reimer brothers, all age 22, landed in Bismarck from Fort Sill on Sept. 28 with about 42 others after being stationed near Basra, Iraq for about a year. Basra is a vast and hot land covered in sand and little else, the men said. Once they walked in off the plane, the scene made Deb Reimer ask, "Is it really over?" Knowing that she was able to keep the boys around a while was a feeling of total relief. The men are part of the 2-285th Aviation Battalion. They were one of three flight companies that were responsible for flying over southern Iraq, carrying VIPs like diplomats, ambassadors and even celebrities. It was a job the men were proud to do. Given the chance, they’d go on another mission, too. But if they had the choice it wouldn’t be to Iraq.