Homecoming: Jonesville’s 1087th troops return Friday

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 31, 2004

After more than a year serving in Operation Enduring Freedom, the 1087th Transportation Company is coming home.

The 107 soldiers from Jena and Jonesville will be landing at Alexandria’s England Air Force Base Friday at 2 p.m., according to 1087th spokesman Lt. Michael Stevens.

Carmen Anderson, family readiness group leader for Jonesville, said her husband, Jonathan, called her Tuesday morning with the good news. The troops are flying out of Kuwait Thursday and into Germany for a layover before returning to the United States Friday.

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Anderson said she was &uot;freaking out because I was at work&uot; when she found out. &uot;I was very excited.&uot;

Anderson has not seen her husband since they left Feb. 9 because he did not take his two weeks of rest and relaxation but opted to stay.

&uot;Words really can’t express&uot; what it has been like and what it is like to know her husband is coming home, Anderson said.

Mary Boyette of Wildsville screamed when she found out her son, Jamison, would be coming home.

Boyette started putting up a yellow ribbon at the end of the road, one for every month the 1087th has been gone.

&uot;I just put the last ribbon up; it’s the fifteenth month,&uot; she said.

Jamison’s wife, Kacie, who is in West Monroe, said the company has had many extensions and the supporters have waited through many of them.

&uot;It’s hard to believe they’re coming home,&uot; Kacie Boyette said.

The 1087th Transportation Company is &uot;one of the units in Louisiana that served the longest time overseas.&uot;

Teresa Coplen of Monterey is just ready for her son, Paul, to come home. &uot;Friday is my birthday,&uot; Coplen said. &uot;So he is coming home for my birthday. This is the best birthday ever.&uot;

Anderson said the families and supporters will meet at the Jonesville Armory around 11:30 a.m. to head to the airport. Once the troops arrive in Alexandria, they will be bussed to Fort Polk, Stevens said.

Then, the soldiers will received a 24-hour pass before returning to Fort Polk for the demobilization process, which could take anywhere from four to six days, he said. And then, they will travel to Jena and Jonesville for their long-awaited homecoming.

And the families have already been preparing, making signs for the trip and to put out in Jonesville and getting the armory ready for the homecoming reception.

Anderson said the group ordered car flags they will sell as a fund-raiser. The caravan of cars will display their pride and happiness with the blue and white flags that read, &uot;1087th Trans. Company (road warriors).&uot;