Valley soldier returns from wrapping up U.S. mission in Iraq

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by Stacey Delikat

azfamily.com

Posted on December 16, 2011 at 10:20 PM

Updated Friday, Dec 16 at 11:03 PM

CHANDLER, Ariz.--The day after President Obama declared an official end to the war in Iraq, Private First Class Tony Unrein is one of many troops finally coming home.

PFC Unrein landed at Sky Harbor this morning and was met with a warm welcome from his family.

The homecoming was especially symbolic, because twenty years ago PFC Unrein welcomed his father, Lt. Col. John Unrein, home from the Gulf War.

The family shared old footage and photographs of that reunion with 3TV, and acknowledged while the two wars they fought were very different, many things about combat seemed to remain the same.

"From a family standpoint the deployments are all the same, pretty much you're leaving home, you're leaving your family" said Lt. Col. Unrein.

His son, PFC Unrein, spent his five month deployment breaking down and packing up U.S. military bases in Anbar Province, Iraq.

"It was a big project and it was cool whether you're beginning middle or end, it was just nice to be a part of that group," PFC Unrein said.

"Back in 1990 it was another mission, this was his mission, and that was the goal, to finish it up," said his father. "It's really historic what his group did while they were there."

Lt. Col. Unrein and his wife Wendy are proud of their son's service and also extremely grateful to have him home. They understand that not every family is as lucky.

"The guys that fight for the United States and their freedoms, they're losing their lives for a reason and they know it," said Lt. Col. Unrein.

 
 

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