Marching home again

| 29 Sep 2011 | 08:54

HONESDALE - Members of Company A, 1/109 Infantry known as the “Anacondas” came home Thursday after a year in Iraq. The streets in Honesdale were lined on both sides with people waving flags, welcoming the soldiers home. Over 300 family and friends were on hand to welcome back 87 guardsmen who were overwhelmed by the response they received. Their two luxury buses followed behind police cars and fire trucks with sirens and lights blaring as they made their way to the 101st National Guard Armory this past Thursday evening. They landed at Scranton Wilkes Barre International Airport, loaded their gear onto buses and headed for home. There were a few stops on the way and travel to Honesdale was slow. Their expected arrival time of 7 p.m. turned into 8:30 p.m., which heightened the anticipation even more. And the troops had plenty of family and friends waiting. As the buses unloaded wives, sweethearts, parents, others swarmed the soldiers in an effort to be the first to greet them. There were tears, laughter, kisses and hugs wherever you looked as the unloading area became a frenzy of excitement for everyone. Mark Cullum of Bushkill, who spent 12 months in Iraq, said, “I was happy to see green grass, I only saw sand for the last year. I didn’t take any leave time to come home because I didn’t want to cause any changes to my family by coming home and then leaving again.” “It’s great to be back and kiss my wife of 20 years,” said a jubilant Staff Sergeant Greg Mascola as he lifted his wife Fran up from the ground, hugging her with great emotion. Inside the armory were refreshments set out on long tables for everyone. The excitement went on for almost an hour before the parking lot began to empty as the soldiers and families began to drift off for more private celebrations. The troops still have a few more weeks to serve before their tour is up and life returns to normal.