EARLY CHRISTMAS PRESENT ARRIVES
MILITARY families received an early Christmas present yesterday as hundreds of Australian Army troops returned home from Iraq.
Children ran into open arms and partners shed tears of happiness at the Brisbane International Airport as nearly 300 troops from the Task Group Taji-7 training mission came home.
The contingent has been oversease since June, training more than 4500 Iraqi soldiers.
Ben Evans was met by daughters Poppy and Milla as he walked through the arrivals gate.
His partner Sam said it had been like Christmas morning in their household all day.
“The girls have been up since 4am waiting to see their dad,” she said. “It’s the best Christmas present.”
Ben Driver was finally able to meet his 10-week-old niece Ruby Stafford. .
“He’s very happy to be home and we’re very happy he’s back here for Christmas,” his mum Janell Driver said
Colonel Justin Bywater said conditions had been challenging but that it had been a successful mission.
“We’ve gone from training in 55C to now being very wet,” he said. “It’s a good chance for them to talk with their families and really understand just how valuable it is. There are a lot of people trained over there because of our mission.”
Sam and Ben Evans with kids Milla and Poppy celebrate being reunited.