445th Transportation Company back from Iraq - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

445th Transportation Company back from Iraq

by Danielle Wagner

WATERLOO (KWWL) Lots of hugs Monday as members of the 445th Transportation Company with the Army Reserve arrived home after almost a year in Iraq.

More than 160 soldiers from Iowa and several other states left in June 2009 to transport supplies and provide security for convoys.

Monday morning, the 445th was welcomed home in Waterloo. Law Enforcement vehicles and motorcycles escorted the buses to town.

Family and friends lined the reserve center driveway holding signs and waving flags. Once the doors on the buses opened, the hugs, the kisses and the tears began.

"It's been a long year. Definitely glad to be back," said Heidi Schmidt with the 445th Transportation Company.

First Sergeant Ken Pfiffner got a big welcome home hug from his wife.

"I'm very excited. It's been a long time coming so it's a wonderful day just to have him back home again," said Marcea Seible.

"It's great. It's great to see the community come out, all the family and friends. We're all very thankful to be back," said Ken Pfiffner.

Ryan Schmitt said he's looking forward to a traditional Memorial Day grill out, among other things.

"It's overwhelming to finally be home. Green grass. It's actually nice to walk on green grass, and the clean air," said Schmitt.

KWWL interviewed Schmitt's grandma last year when she sent neck warmers and cool-ties to the company. She said she couldn't sleep Sunday night waiting for this moment.

"I am very proud of him. This is his second deployment and I'm glad to have him home," said Donna Schmitt.

All agree this welcome home ceremony was a fitting way to celebrate Memorial Day.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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