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Alto employee returns from Iraq

By By Lisa Tindell
Coming home has been a dream for many soldiers who are part of the war in Iraq.
For three Brewton men, the dream became a reality last week. Within days of each other, Justin Massenburgh and Raymond Jamieson returned from a 10-month deployment to Cob Speicher, Iraq as part of the HHT 1/131 Cav unit of the National Guard based in Daleville. Jeremy Padgett, a member of the U.S. Army, returned to the United States April 20 for a 16-day vacation from the war. Padgett’s wife, Denise, is also serving in the U.S. Army and is stationed with her husband at the Army Base in Kirkuk, Iraq. The two left today to return to their military duties. Jamieson, who is married to Sammie Kern, said he is trying to make the transition into civilian life, but has seen some changes in himself since he left home 10 months ago.
Jamieson said his unit worked as convoy escorts for soldiers traveling from base to base. Heat, dust storms and invisible enemies made the trips stressful.
Greenery is seldom seen in the area Jamieson found himself stationed, he said. Getting back to a place where he can see green has been an enjoyment for him.
Jamieson may be glad to see a tree or bush, but the things he missed seeing the most, was his wife and daughters, Alli and Ansley. “Seeing my family standing there with signs to greet us was very emotional,” Jamieson said. “I can’t describe the happiness I felt when I was finally able to see my wife and my daughters.”
Brewton is home for Jamieson and he said he was certainly glad to have the opportunity to stay in touch with life in the city while he was away. Doris Faulker, Jamieson’s mother-in-law, and his mother Cecelia Jamieson, made sure he got news from home.
Sammie Jamieson was more than a little thrilled to have her husband come home to her safely, she said.
Excitement and nervousness aren’t the only emotions Sammie is experiencing, she said.
Attempts to reach Justin Massenburgh were unsuccessful Friday. Although Jeremy Padgett is looking forward to returning home for good, that return is still a few months away.
The couple came to Brewton during the 16-day furlough to spend some time with Padgett’s mom, Gilda.
The couple, who still consider themselves newlyweds, are also looking forward to being with their family more in the future.
Denise, who is a native of Queens, N.Y., said she likes this area and plans to make it her home.
Jeremy and Denise spoke to a group of students at Brewton Middle School Friday morning to discuss the conditions and the atmosphere at and around their base in Kirkuk, Iraq.
Jamieson says he plans to return to his job at Alto Products in Atmore where he is an electrician in the near future. The Padgetts will be completing their time in the U.S. Army in December.