More soldiers welcomed home in Cedar Rapids - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

More soldiers welcomed home in Cedar Rapids

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SFC Terryl Pasker SFC Terryl Pasker

Another 70 Iowa soldiers are back on Iowa soil, being able to reconnect with family and friends in Cedar Rapids Tuesday after spending the last nine months in Afghanistan.

Hundreds packed the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena Tuesday, anxiously awaiting the return of soldiers with the Bravo Company, 334th Brigade Support Battalion.  18-year-old Kosy Brown couldn't wait to see her boyfriend, 21-year-old Sgt. Breandan Fank, after what's been a long, stressful deployment.

"You never know what's going to happen.  There's never that moment when you're not worrying," Brown said.

Brown's had a few chances to talk with Fank during the deployment.  One of them came on prom night.  This spring, family surprised her with an appearance from Sergeant Fank via Skype at Vinton's high school prom.  That night made Brown even more ready for the homecoming.

Once the soldiers were dismissed, Brown rushed onto the arena floor and leaped into Fank's arms.

"It makes this year so much better.  All the stress is gone now," said Brown.

And Sgt. Fank says he's especially mindful of how lucky he is to be home safe, after a fellow soldier from his unit, Sgt. Terry Pasker, was recently killed in the line of duty.

"It was just sudden.  We didn't expect it.  When it happened, it was terrible," Fank said.

And that loss is one reason the troops don't keep their minds far from the battle field, as they hope for safe returns and homecomings for all US troops serving overseas.

As for Kosy Brown and Sgt. Fank, the pair is looking forward to spending more time together and attending college this year in Cedar Falls.

70 more Iowa-based soldiers will reunite with families Wednesday, during a homecoming ceremony in Davenport.

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