Written by Elizabeth: DEXTER - Key Club wasn't quite as busy over the Christmas Holidays, but we were active, working on our scrapbook one morning and visiting the troops flying into Bangor on Wednesday, December 31st.
Three members got up early Wednesday morning to drive to Bangor with advisor Rick Whitney to act as Troop Greeters at BIA. As we parked our cars, the 8:15 a.m. flight was just making its approach to the runway. The flight was carrying 143 U.S. Army hospital personnel from Iraq, and on their way to Fort Bliss in Kentucky. They all had been gone for 15 months and they had missed two Christmas'. They were ready to get home. Attending from the Key Club was President Megan Crane, Katie Eastman and Kayla Libby, and they were three of about 15 greeters at the airport. One of the troops asked them if this was detention duty! Another asked if they were veterans! But, it was very interesting talking to the troops.
There is so much that we do not read in the papers that goes on in Iraq. This unit dealt with seriously injured people, and not just U.S. personnel. They told us that if a person reached their base with vital signs they had a 92% chance of survival, which is a very good record. The troops all said that they missed blue jeans, a regular bed and a hot shower; things we take for granted.
They also talked about the heat, and lots of it. It regularly got to 130 degrees in the summer, and they said that you can really feel the difference between 120 and 130 degrees. One night the temperature "cooled" down to 100 degrees and they all started to shiver! They were cold! I guess it is all what you are use to.
When they arrived the temperature outside was seven degrees, but none of them really cared. They said it felt good just to be home. It also is a wonderful feeling to see how much the troops appreciate the welcome. It is an experience that stays with you all your life. This was the second time the Key Club has greeted the troops and the other troop greeters remembered us from last year and said we are the only Key Club that has come to greet the troops. We plan to return to BIA during our February break. "This content originally appeared as a copyrighted article in the SVWeekly.com and is used here with permission."
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