Madison: It was an emotional day for friends, family and Marines as the returning members of Golf Company were welcomed back to Wisconsin.
The plane landed just after 11 a.m. and the Marines of Golf Company were filing onto the tarmac. But there were no mad dashes to the expectant crowd. Family and friends had to wait while the Marines marched in and were officially dismissed.
Lance Cpl. Marty Schwader was anxious to find his fiancé. "It was unbelievable. I heard her voice first and got all tingly inside. I knew where she was I just had to turn around and find her."
Sgt. Kevin Lewis had his wife and six kids mob him from behind. "I'm just really happy. I love my kids so much it's been hard to be away from them, hopefully it was all worthwhile for the people of Iraq."
These Marines were coming off 10 months of active duty, including 6 months in Iraq, and wife Kathy Lewis said it was time to celebrate. "We're just going to stay here like a big blob. It's hug time."
Not all the tears were tears of joy.
Peggy O Donnell watched the homecoming from the edge of the crowd. "This is a nightmare. I am a poster child for every mother's nightmare."
Lance Cpl Shane O Donnell was killed last November in an attack that took the lives of 3 members of Golf Company and injured another.
"Shane needs to be here today and I'm here for him because he can't be," says Peggy.
Peggy wore a shirt with a picture of Shane smiling broadly with the words 'still smiling' underneath. She says that says everything you need to know about her son and Golf Company. "He's still smiling and he's still watching your back. He died doing what he believed in."
Four members of Golf Company were killed in action. Golf Company plans to dedicate a memorial in their honor next weekend.
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