Local Soldiers Return From Iraq

By: Lauren Zakalik Email
By: Lauren Zakalik Email

The signs painted "Welcome Home Daddy" say it all.

"I'm going to cry," says Nikki Roll, who is waiting for her brother, Sgt. Timothy Lane. "Happiness today, happy tears. Happy tears for a lot of people."

Roll's brother Lane has been in Iraq for the past twelve months. Those months have been hard. "Torture," she explains.

"A lot of anxiety. He's my only sibling, so you worry about him every day."

Except today.

Lane's entire family-- including wife and kids-- have gathered at the Armory in Grand Ledge to welcome back all the soldiers in the National Guard Charlie Company, who've been on medical missions in Iraq.

"He's been gone for a while. We're very excited about him coming back," says the father of Benjamin Brahmer.

"Eager. We've been waiting a long time," says Kelly Rabideau of her brother-in-law Randall.

The wait, they say, was worth it.

"Awesome," says soldier Danielle Fester. "There's no words to describe. "I don't want to let her go," she says of her little sister.

"Excellent. Best thing in the world," Lane says of holding his kids.

Lane says he wants to catch up with his kids and have a home-cooked meal.

"I'm glad to be home. Very glad to be home."

The joyful return, however, comes just a day after a much more somber event; just one day prior, the community of Grand Ledge welcomed home the body of fallen soldier PFC Bradley Rappuhn, 24, who was killed in Afghanistan. His funeral will be in Grand Ledge on Thursday.

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