Kentucky Soldiers Return Home

By: Ryan Dearbone
By: Ryan Dearbone

"Its actually unexplainable."

It was a moment 18 months in the making and on a very appropriate holiday but will its memories will last forever for the Combs family.

"Oh I'm sure its something I'll remember from here on out, coming home from Iraq on Father's Day. It'll be a special moment for all of us, I'm sure," says 1st Lt. Bryan Combs.

"Definitely never have a Father's day any different to me. It'll always be a special memory of Father's Day," agrees his wife, Jillian.

Many, including Bowling Green Mayor Elaine Walker and Adjutant General Donald Storm heralded the 40-plus member battalion as heroes who made great contributions to the war in Iraq.

"These guys were in the heart of the conflict in Iraq and the missions they conducted and the soldiers they supported over there. Their missions just went flawless. They did a fantastic job and we're just so proud of them," says Lt. Col. Mike Farley.

But the return was bittersweet.

Battalion member Brock Beery was killed in late March when an improvised explosive device went off while he was operating a truck carrying Iraqi detainees.

"The man gave his life for a cause he believed in and he served valiantly," notes 1st Lt. Combs.

"But these soldiers are very proud of him, the mission he did. He supported many of them and as the platoon leader said, he died doing what he loved and he loved his country, he loved being a soldier and he loved fighting for his fellow man," agrees Lt. Col. Farley.

Now that 1st Lt. Combs is back with his family he says he doesn't have big plans for his time back with his wife and family.

"Have a schedule at least initially. No schedule or get up early or I don't know...

"Be apart?" chimes in his wife.

"Yeah, not to be apart."

During their time in Iraq, the heavy mortar portion of the battalion aided in several indirect fire support missions and patrols as well as offensive operations...while the medical platoon established and maintained a 24-hour emergency treatment trauma center for the coalition forces in the al-ramadi area.


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