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thedrifter
08-30-08, 11:16 AM
Proud mother happy for Marine’s safe return
‘There was no better news’

By MICHELLE ANSTETT
The Register-Mail
Posted Aug 29, 2008 @ 10:23 PM
Last update Aug 30, 2008 @ 08:20 AM
GALESBURG —

Friends and family celebrated the safe return of a local Marine Friday night at The Corral.

Tony Ingarra, a 23-year-old Marine corporal, was released on leave Aug. 21 after being deployed for more than seven months. The Galesburg High School graduate joined the Marine Corps more than four years ago.

“Some of my friends were Marines,” he said of his choice to join that particular branch of the military. “I looked up to them and just wanted to do something good for myself.”

He was stationed in the Al Anbar province of Iraq, where Ingarra rode daily with a personal security detail and was one of two in charge of all communications aspects for his company. Though he has learned a lot about himself during his time with the Marines, he said he is glad to be home.

“It’s hot, it’s windy, it’s miserable” in Iraq, he said. “Anytime you’re away from your family, it sucks. I really missed daily showers and hygiene.”

Ingarra made it back into the United States on Aug. 16 but wasn’t officially released until five days later.

He made it back to Galesburg in time for his brother’s wedding last weekend. “I just really wanted to get to my brother’s wedding,” Ingarra said.

The last week has been spent catching up with friends and family before he heads to Chicago to finish up some paperwork. After that, he has 30 days of leave and plans to stay with his father while looking for a job at a police department.

His mother, Pam Best, couldn’t be more proud of her son or more relieved that he’s back home.
“I was very proud of him for joining the Marines. I couldn’t be more proud of him,” she said. “The whole time while he was deployed was very hard for me. When he called me and said he was stateside, I cried for two days.

“There was no better news than that for me.”

manstett@register-mail.com

Ellie