On Sunday, 40 soldiers from the 116th Cavalry Brigade returned from their year-long mission in Iraq. Much to everyone’s surprise, their plane from Boise arrived early that afternoon, making the long-awaited homecoming even more exciting.
Benny and Chelsea Mireles were met with signs, clappers and smiling faces when they got off the chartered plane. After a year in Iraq, they are hugging family members a little closer. But there is something different about this military couple.
“They got married a week before they left,” said Chelsea’s mom Peggy Marlor.
“It was fast, it was quick, but there was no doubt that she was going to be my wife,” said Benny.
“We definitely learned a lot about each other on deployment,” Chelsea said.
The week in Washington state helped their transition back to America, but getting off the plane was still a little nerve-wracking, they both said.
“Shaky, I guess. But we have a lot planned out,” Benny said about how he felt.
They are getting ready to start a family and to enjoy some of the things they did not get to do overseas.
“We haven’t had our one year anniversary. We weren’t together in Iraq so we’re going to go do some camping I guess,” Benny said. “Well maybe not camping,” Chelsea said, laughing.
For Marlor, whose husband and son have also served in Iraq, it was gratifying to see her daughter and son-in-law come home.
“They’re safe. They’re back. Thank you,” she said.
And for Benny and Chelsea, who spent their honeymoon serving the country, it is time to get back to normal.
“Just having them get on with their life and having them be a regular married couple. More grandbabies, hopefully, we’re looking forward to that,” Marlor said.
Sunday was also a big family reunion for the Mireles and Marlors; once Benny and Chelsea left the AV Center where they arrived, they headed out to meet the rest of their relatives. Their family says it was the perfect day for them to come home.
Capt. Eric Sharp said more troops may be arriving home later this month.