July 13, 2010 –
MAYETTA: After being away from their family and friends for almost a year, tribal members Charles Wakole and Robert Jackson returned home today and were honored in a welcome home ceremony for the Kansas National Guard’s 2nd Battalion, 130th Field Artillery at Hayden High School in Topeka, Kan.
The National Guard unit was part of a Multinational Force and Observers mission that was stationed in the Egyptian Sinai. The purpose of the mission was to help supervise the implementation of the security provisions of the Egyptian-Israeli Treaty of Peace.
Wakole and Jackson are members of We-Ta-Se American Legion Post #410. This was the second tour of duty for both men having first toured with Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Several Prairie Band members and We-Ta-Se veterans attended today’s ceremony that featured remarks from Major Andrew Parker, Executive Officer, 2nd Battalion 130th Field Artillery and Colonel Lee Tafanelli, Commander-Kansas Army National Guard.
Wakole and Jackson have been gone since July 22. Their unit includes citizen-soldiers from Bravo HQ in Horton, Detachment 1 in Holton, and Detachment 2 in Atchison who were also reunited today with family and friends.
Today’s Welcome Home ceremony held at Hayden High School in Topeka, Kan.
Charles Wakole (in military uniform) with his family.
Robert Jackson (in uniform) with his family.
Robert with Cecelia “Meeks” Jackson.
Charles Wakole hugging his loved ones.
Robert meets his family right after getting off the bus.