Soldiers March Back Home - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Soldiers March Back Home

by Mari-Ela David

WAHIAWA (KHNL) - One year in Iraq, now they're finally back home. More than 100 soldiers based in Fort Shafter Hawaii are safe with loved ones, after a heart-warming reunion at Wheeler Army Airfield Thursday.

Any fears friends and family had of losing loved ones to the Iraq war all melted away as soldiers from the Army Reserve 657th Area Support Group marched back into their loved ones arms.

"I just missed the family a lot," says Staff Sergeant David Rondon.

Troops were drowning in aloha at Wheeler, and surrounded by proud friends and family.

"Of course I'm happy. I see my daughter," says Army mom, Mila Orsino.

"It just touches your heart to know that he's there protecting our freedom and he's a part of it," says Army mom, Charlotte Rondon.

Not one soldier from the 657th unit was injured. Many say their mission opened their eyes.

"I learned a lot, like the Iraqi culture, they're not that bad," says Staff Sergeant Guia Orsino.

Some even volunteered to stay past their 12-month tour of duty, a sign of just how committed this troop is to protecting the country.

"I don't mind going back," says Sgt. Orsino.

The 657th Army unit was responsible for running Anaconda, one of the largest bases in Iraq's green zone that houses more than 27,000 military personnel and civilians.

An official homecoming and awards ceremony is planned at Schofield on Sunday.

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