333rd Returns Home...

ALMOST A YEAR AND A HALF AFTER THEY WERE FIRST ACTIVATED FOR DUTY..
THE FREEPORT BASED 333RD MILITARY POLICE BATTALION IS FINALLY HOME.
ON THE DAY THE STATELINE CELEBRATED THEIR ARRIVAL..THE SOLDIERS NOW LOOK AHEAD TO SLEEPING IN THEIR OWN BEDS FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MONTHS..AND RE-ADJUSTING TO CIVILIAN LIFE.
23--YEAR-OLD KARI KAAHUE IS HOME FROM IRAQ. WITH NEW WHEELS IN TOW..SHE SAYS BEING BACK IN HER FAMILY'S COLLECTIVE ARMS IS STILL SINKING IN..
"I THINK TOMORROW MORNING WHEN I WAKE UP IT WILL BECAUSE THE PEOPLE THAT I'VE BEEN SLEEPING WITH WON'T BE HERE AND JUST TRYING TO ADJUST TO THAT IS GOING TO BE DIFFERENT."
AFTER SPENDING MORE THAN A YEAR AS A COOK IN A MOBILE KITCHEN IN IRAQ..KARI SAYS IT'S EVERDAY LAUGHTER SHE MISSED THE MOST...
"JUST NOT HAVING TO WEAR ALL THAT GEAR THAT WE HAD TO ... AND JUST SEEING KIDS RUNNING AROUND PLAYING.BECAUSE WHEN WE WERE INSIDE OUR WALLS WE DIDN'T GET TO SEE SIMPLE JOYS LIKE THAT."
THERE WAS PLENTY OF JOY EARLIER THIS AFTERNOON WITH THE 333RD'S RETURN...IN A STATELINE OVERFLOWING IN PATRIOTIC PRIDE.
"IT WAS GREAT BECAUSE EVEN ONCE WE HIT SOUTH BELOIT ON OUR WAY TO FREEPORT THERE WAS ALREADY PEOPLE LINING THE SIDES OF THE ROAD AND IT WAS JUST GREAT TO SEE."
BUT EVEN WITH KARI HOME...HER FAMILY'S HOMECOMING IS STILL ONE PERSON SHORT. KARI'S BROTHER DANIEL REMAINS IN IRAQ SERVING IN THE MARINES...LIKELY UNTIL AUGUST..EVEN WITH TODAY'S CELEBRATION...HIS ABSENCE IS CONSTANT ON THE FAMILY'S MIND."
"i didn't cry too much when i came home but i think when i see him ill start bawling because our family will finally be back together.."


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