Iowa soldier to return from fourth deployment Tuesday - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa soldier to return from fourth deployment Tuesday

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GARRISON (KWWL) - "Boots on the ground" -- it's a term usually associated with soldiers away at war.

That isn't the case for Alan Kakac this time around. His volunteer battalion was assigned aircraft maintenance while in Kosovo.

His daughter, Jenni Birker, says it's all about putting a positive message out there.

"It's getting a positive message out there to help other countries in other ways," Birker said. "Maybe be more of a U.S. presence, maybe just be a kind face -- not the face of the military, but of the people."

This is Kakac's fourth deployment, and while his daughter is used to it by now, it's a different story for his many grandchildren.

Jenny Birker says her eight-year-old daughter can barely contain her excitement.

"She's asked me every day since June, 'When's grandpa coming home?'" Birker said.

Birker says although there is no official homecoming ceremony for the soldiers, she believes they deserve recognition as they've been gone 11 months.

She says that members from the Patriot Guard will attend the homecoming as well as friends and family.

Birker says she hopes her dad's wanderlust has subsided so he can stay home in Iowa. She says she recognizes though that there are many families in the same situation.

"It's not about me, it's not about us. He's my dad but I'm an adult. There are guys out there leaving babies to go overseas."

The soldiers will return on Tuesday at 9:30 pm at the Waterloo airport.

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