Danville National Guard unit returns home

May 12, 2004

Theresa Krueger of Perryville enjoys going out to eat. But the restaurant meal she has this weekend will be the "most special ever."

"When Kevin gets home, and I expect it to be Friday or so, I plan to take him out to eat. That's going to be our little celebration," said Krueger this morning.

Kevin is Krueger's 20-year-old, Pfc. Kevin M. Krueger, and the celebration will be a homecoming meal to mark his return from Iraq where he served with the Danville-based 217th Quartermaster Detachment Water Purification Unit of the Kentucky Army National Guard. He and seven other members of the unit arrived at Ft. Campbell Tuesday afternoon after spending more than a year on active duty, most of that time in Iraq.

Arriving at Ft. Campbell with Krueger were fellow 217th soldiers Sgt. Wendell D. Miller, Sgt. Garland H. Sapp, Spec. James E. Herren, Spc. Richard T. Herren, Spc. Ernest W. Mobley and Spc. Michael A. Dean. The eight Guardsmen have been granted brief leaves and then will return to Ft. Campbell where they will go through processing over a period of up two weeks.


On hand to greet the returning soldiers were several members of National Guard leadership, including Adjutant General Donald C. Storm.

None of the eight soldiers was injured during their duty in Iraq, said Capt. David Page, a public information officer.

Seven other members of the 217th returned home on April 27. The whole unit will be guests of honor at a community celebration sometime in July honoring their service in Iraq.

During their tour in Iraq, the 217th purified and hauled more than 35 million gallons of water from the Tigirs and Euphrates rivers, distributing the water to U.S. troops throughout the country.

After processing at Ft. Campbell, the eight members of the 217th will be able to follow the footsteps of the seven earlier-arriving comrades and re-enter civilian life. For Kevin Krueger, that means pursuing a college career.

"Kevin loves to work with computers and he's eager to go to college to study computer science," said Theresa Krueger of her son, a Boyle County High School graduate. Krueger, who has an 18-month-old son to support, joined the Guard immediately after graduation.

"Whatever Kevin does with his life, he can look back on his service to his country and be proud," said his mother, whom kept in constant contact with the private through letters and e-mails. "But I'm glad that service is over and he's coming home."

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