Hill Air Force base airmen return from Iraq (Davis Clipper)

 
SALT LAKE CITY — Amy Bortz and Angela Vanvliet stood in the waiting area of the Salt Lake International Airport with wringing hands and eyes fixed on the escalator descending from the second floor.

Their excitement was due to the fact their husband and boyfriend were among the final troops to leave Iraq, arriving here Wednesday morning.

Master Sgt. Carl Bortz and Tech Sgt. Blaine Arsenault were among seven Hill Air Force Base airmen who proudly walked down the escalator moments later, greeted with massive hugs from each of those they loved. For Bortz, that included his and Amy’s two children as well.

“It has been said before, and we knew it would happen, but I’m excited that he’s going to be home for Christmas,” Amy said, with reference to President Obama’s Oct. 21 announcement that the eight-plus year war in Iraq would formally end by the conclusion of the year.

The remaining 41,000 troops in the country at the time of the president’s address will all be evacuated by Dec. 31.

PLEASE SEE FULL STORY IN THE DEC. 22 CLIPPER

Read more: Davis County Clipper – Troops return home for holidays