Fairbanks-based soldiers return from Iraq in time for holidays

Associated PressDecember 7, 2011 

Sgt. Fred Somerville hugs 4-year-old daughter Evalynn as about 400 soldiers of the 6th Squadron, 17th Calvary Regiment, Task Force Saber return to Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks, Alaska Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011 after a yearlong deployment to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

ERIC ENGMAN / FAIRBANKS DAILY NEWS-MINER VIA AP

FAIRBANKS -- Members of a Fort Wainwright squadron -- one of the last active-duty Army units to leave Iraq -- have returned from a 10-month tour and reunited with loved ones in time for the holidays.

Members of the 6th Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, returned Tuesday to their families gathered in a hangar at Fort Wainwright, according to The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

Squadron Commander Lt. Col. Michael McCurry said the troops were part of a maintenance group. Their daily routine was preparing aircraft for launch and follow-ups. The soldiers led an aviation task force called Task Force Saber.

Lili Moon climbed a green ladder to hang a sign for her husband. It read, "Your girls have missed you!" Her two daughters -- 20-month-old Olivia and 5-month-old Sofia -- had a hand in making the sign -- adorning it with red hand prints.

Sgt. Broderrick Rimes stood with his nearly 2-year-old daughter, Aziana, as buses carrying his wife made their way to Fort Wainwright from Eielson Air Force Base. Rimes and his wife, Staff Sgt. Lady Rimes, have both been deployed in the past but never at the same time since their daughter was born.

"At least one of us is here," he said.

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