Families Prepare for Golf Company Homecoming

By: Zac Schultz
By: Zac Schultz

Madison: The chairs are being set up just so in rows, and the homemade banners are being hung with pride. Family members of the returning Golf Company Marines are feeling a lot of different emotions right now.

"Excitement, exhilaration. Just looking forward to the guys coming home," says mother Susan Wallsch.

"Pride. A lot of pride and a lot of love. We all have been very tight, this whole company," says mother Karen Suhs.

Golf Company left for Iraq last June, and Susan is getting déjà vu. "Just feels like the day we said goodbye to them. Except this time they're coming home."

Karen Suhs says this last week has been the hardest. "It's an emotional rollercoaster. I thought something was wrong with me because I was numb. I guess it was guarded anticipation."

The mothers aren't the only ones looking forward to the homecoming. "We're feeling the same way," says Lance Cpl. Scott Kruchten. "We're waiting to see our brothers. We're waiting to see the other Marines that are coming home."

Lance Cpl Kruchten was sent home after he was injured in the same attack that killed 3 other members of Golf Company.

He says the homecoming could be the first chance to grieve for many members of Golf Company. "Once we're back here, now is when we're missing friends."

A homemade flag will be one of the first things the members of Golf Company will see when they arrive. The red stripes were made from the handprints of family members.

Susan says hanging decorations is the least they can do. "They've been over there in Iraq for 10 months doing the job they had to do. They did a good job and we're just welcoming them home so they know that we care."

After helping out Thursday Karen was off to Milwaukee to help bake apple pies for the homecoming. She isn't worried about sleeping. "Probably not (gonna happen). This will be my third night–I try."

Officials say they are expecting up to 4,000 people to attend the homecoming celebration Friday.

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