502nd Happy To Return To Hanau
Members of Engineer Company 502nd recently made their way back from Iraq to their home base in Germany.
Specialist Bernardo Camarena was quick to head for the exit once dismissed. Surrounded by fellow soldiers welcomed by family, spouses, and loved ones, Spc. Camarena was in a hurry. He had just finished a 441-day tour of duty in Iraq, and being one of the single soldiers in his unit he was not exactly a part of the joyful family reunion.
As Camarena hurried to leave, following a line of other single soldiers edging toward a door in the gym , suddenly he halted, and turned, looking back at his fellow soldiers. “I am just thinking of all my family back home,” said Camarena, as he looked back at his fellow members of the 502nd Engineer Company. “My family would really appreciate this all” said Camarena.
About one hundred sixty members of the Engineer Company returned to Hanau after a lengthy and extended deployment. “We didn’t lose any of our soldiers, but we did have some get hurt in various roadside bombings,” said Camarena.
“Staying in theater in Iraq for fourteen and a half months is a very long time” said Company Commander, Captain Adam Florkowski. “I am glad we are all still here and made it back”
This will be one of the last such ceremonies for the Hanau base, slated for closure next year. There were various ceremonial speeches and comments made about the returning heroes. Terms such as “Pride” and “Patriot” were heard over and over again.
Then the order to dismiss was given and chaos broke out. “It’s just good to be home,” said Capt. Florkowski.