Pike County man returns from Iraq

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 7, 2003

A Brundidge man returned from Iraq Wednesday morning and his father couldn't be prouder.

Arthur Adams said his son, Troy, got back to the United States after several months stationed in the Middle East with the 82nd Airborne Division of the United States Army.

"He's been in for about 10 years and I'm very proud of him," Adams said.

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His son returned to his home base at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Adams said, but hopefully he'll be making a trip down to Brundidge some time soon."

"Right now, he's just going to spend some time with his wife and his daughter, Shiloh," Adams said.

He said Troy's wife, Bonnie, missed him greatly while he was away and helped provide news about the activities of the 82nd Airborne.

Troy's return to the United States on Wednesday was part of a group of 250 soldiers that stepped off a chartered jet just after dawn.

The 82nd Airborne was assigned to protect supply lines running from Kuwait into Iraq after guerrilla attacks on convoys threatened to disrupt the American advance on Baghdad.

The division's commander, Maj. Gen. Charles H. Swannack Jr., told the media present at the homecoming that the intensity of the resistance from the Iraqi paramilitary forces surprised him and some of his troops

According to the Associated Press, Swannack said the division's major accomplishment in Iraq was bringing home all of the troops alive. Twenty-nine soldiers were wounded, but most have returned to duty and the rest are recovering.

"We're going to bring every airborne trooper back alive," Swannack said.

The soldiers will be joined in the next few days by about 1,000 more 82nd Airborne troops from support, aviation, engineering and intelligence battalions. Another 3,000 infantry soldiers from the division remain in Iraq with no word on when they may return.

Another group of the division remains deployed in Afghanistan protecting the fledgling government of Hamid Karzai.

Adams said he couldn't be happier with his son's safe return and often turns his thoughts to his other sons, all of whom are enlisted in the military.

"My oldest son, Todd Edward Adams, has been in the Special Forces for 19 years and he's currently living in one of Saddam's palaces," he said. "My youngest, Sean, is in the Army and Jeff is in the Air Force and stationed in Delaware. He guards the president's plane."

Though it's been "years," Adams said, since all the boys have been home to Brundidge at the same time, he hopes to see them all back in Pike County some time soon.