Late-night arrival planned for Marines
By MATTHEW WILDE, Courier Staff Writer

WATERLOO --- People planning to welcome home Waterloo's Marine Reserve unit better take a nap today.

The Marines are scheduled land at Waterloo Regional Airport at Midnight. Charlie battery, 1st Battalion, 14th Marines recently returned from Iraq and are expected to fly out of California at 7 p.m., Central Standard Time.

Unit spokesman 1st Sgt. James Kirkland said there will be a brief ceremony at the airport, complete with fire trucks welcoming home the troops. The 120 Marines will then be transported to the Hultquist-Fry Reserve Center on Burton Avenue before being dismissed.

"They'll be bussed back, have formation and then be released to their families. They don't have to return until the 18th," Kirkland said.

The Marines spent the last six months in Iraq guarding prisoners and performing military police work. They were primarily located in Al Anbar Province in Iraq.

The group flew back to California early this month, temporarily stationed at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms.

Today's homecoming will be the last for C battery, which is disbanding sometime in September as part of the federal Base Closure and Realignment Commission's recommendations. Waterloo has had a Marine Reserve unit since World War II. Some current members also fought in the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

Contact Matthew Wilde at (319) 291-1579 or