Sunday, December 27, 2009
Robert Lang, WBAL.com
Operation Welcome Home Maryland volunteers greet troops returning to BWI-Marshall in August. (Photo from operationwelcomehomemd.org)
It is a group of volunteers who take time to greet soldiers arriving at BWI-Marshall after serving in Iraq of Afghanistan.The volunteers of Operation Welcome Home Maryland, plan to be in the international terminal Monday afternoon, and then again Wednesday afternoon and evening as soldiers come back to the U.S. for leave.
Karen Winterling, a volunteer with Operation Welcome Home says the volunteers cheer, bring signs, and wave flags as troops arrive in the terminal. “It just makes you feel so wonderful,” Winterling told WBAL’s Kendel and Bob Show.Winterling says many of the troops who are passing through BWI-Marshall are surprised at the reception.”They’re waiting for the rock band to get off the flight, because they have no idea it is them that we are waiting for,” Winterling added.
Winterling says the group does need donations of bottled water and packaged snacks, because returning soldiers are given care packages. She says many of these soldiers are staying at the airport to wait for other flights to take them home.She says since March, 2007, the volunteers have greeted more than 60,000 troops.
Volunteers are encouraged to call the Operation Welcome Home hotline before heading to the airport, to make sure the flight is still scheduled to land.
The hotline number is 410-630-1555.
CLICK HERE to access the Operation Welcome Home Maryland Web site.
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