Army Reserve Pilots Return Early in Time for Thanksgiving

Pilots home early because of withdrawal from Iraq

Thursday, Nov 24, 2011  |  Updated 9:45 PM CDT
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Six Army Reserve pilots home early from Iraq landed in Fort Worth just in time for Thanksgiving.

Meredith Land, NBC 5 News

Six Army Reserve pilots home early from Iraq landed in Fort Worth just in time for Thanksgiving.

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Six Army Reserve pilots touched down at the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth on Wednesday.

The pilots are home months early because of the withdrawal from Iraq. They spent the last five months flying military intelligence missions.

"We sent him away on Fourth of July, and now we're welcoming him home on Thanksgiving, so our holidays are getting to be more meaningful and more meaningful," Trisha Plamersheim said.

The pilots' families eagerly awaited their arrival.

"She went and saw Santa Claus last week, and one of the many things she asked for was to have her daddy come home, so Santa Claus brought daddy home," said Capt. Ron Galuppo as he hugged his daughter.

The Galuppo family has big plans now that he is home for the holidays.

His son, Nathan, said they plan on going hunting, going to Disneyland and going fishing.

And Victoria Galuppo is scrambling to put together a Thanksgiving feast.

"This is incredible," she said. "My refrigerator is empty. I had nothing planned for Thanksgiving -- I was going to go to some friends and family. And [I] get word that he's coming home -- I said, 'Thank God Walmart is open, because I'm coming to pick up some green beans and a ham.'"

Capt. Josh Hankinson said he was planning on watching the Dallas Cowboys game, spending time with his family and relaxing.

More soldiers from his group are expected back in the coming days.


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