Friday, July 13, 2007

Welcome Home, Rick Ochoa!

Here is a good word from my friend, Sergeant First Class Rick Ochoa, who just returned home after fifteen months of active duty.

Welcome home, Rick. Thank you for your service to our country!


Greetings from Sunny California!

Yesterday marked the end of my active duty service for this current mobilization! It has been a long time, nearly fifteen months of active duty, including twelve in Iraq.

Throughout this time I experienced many hardships and dangers. Our team participated in over 220 combat missions, fighting both the extreme weather conditions and the insurgents. We traveled over ten thousand miles in and around Baqubah, the most dangerous city in Iraq. Out of all the teams that deployed with us, I believe that Team Alamo returned as the most highly decorated. Several team members earned Purple Hearts and almost everyone was decorated for valor under fire at one time or another.

God certainly was watching over me, I am happy to say! During my tour in Iraq, I was promoted to Sergeant First Class, I received the Bronze Star Medal and I was decorated two other times with an Army Commendation Medal (with V device) for valor under fire. Beyond that though, I came home in one piece and that’s the most important thing! It struck me that God allowed me to come home not just with Honor but with Glory besides! Yet, I know we could not have made it without your prayers and support. To each and every one of you a warm and hearty thank you!

I am enjoying a little peace and quiet with my family now! My kids are with me so we are going to Disneyland and all the other attractions in Southern California. Above all I am grateful to God for having had the opportunity to serve our nation and now I look forward to enjoying some of that freedom for myself! In case you are ever in doubt this is the greatest country on earth!

God Bless
Rick Ochoa

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