Soldiers Return to Arkansas from Demobilization in Oklahoma

MARCH 18, 2005 - Posted at 8:23 a.m. CST

HOPE, AR - Hundreds of Arkansas soldiers are making their way back to Arkansas this week after a week of demobilization at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, where they returned from the war in Iraq.  The members of the 39th Brigade say the real homecoming is being back in Arkansas.

Corporal Brian Heinley of Malvern was met with music and welcome home signs yesterday.  He said he's happy just to be back with his wife Tara and see his two children.  The soldiers and his group of returnees still have one more step, they'll return to their local amory tomorrow for one more week of duty.  A statewide homecoming is scheduled for May 21 at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.

Now that Corporal John Sowell of Bauxite is home he says he's ready to ask his girlfriend, Kristen Roberts of Bryant to marry him.  He says he's also excited to see his family, fraternity brothers and eat some Taco Bell.

About a half-dozen groups of Arkansas soldiers have returned from the war so far.  The Arkansas Army National Guard says that about 3,000 Arkansas soldiers should be home by mid-April.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)