Smiles, tears as Marines return home
Wednesday, November 26, 2008

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY (Bay News 9) -- The Bruggeman children spent most of Tuesday counting down.

Counting the hours, minutes and seconds until the big moment.

That moment arrived last night when Tim Bruggeman, their father and a Marine reservist stationed in Iraq exited a bus at the Marine training station in south Tampa.

Tim Bruggeman, stationed in Iraq's Anbar province for the past seven months, and his unit returned home Tuesday for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Bruggeman's battalion helped with counter-insurgency operations and base security in Iraq.

He and 69 other Marines made the trip back home for the holiday.

"This one's gotten bigger," Tim said while greeting daughter Lilly.

And with no immediate schedule to be recalled, Tim may be home for a while.

"I can't believe he's finally home,' said Stacey Bruggeman. "Seems like forever."