Soldiers return delayed for days
POSTED: Thursday, September 19, 2013 - 2:10pm
UPDATED: Thursday, September 19, 2013 - 7:48pm
Manas, Kyrgyzstan (KTSM) — It's been a turbulent trip and they haven't even left yet.
More than 200 soldiers are stuck in Kyrgyzstan after problems with the plane they were supposed to take home 9 days ago.
Now their families and fellow soldiers are demanding answers and action.
After deploying and serving their country, 248 soldiers are ready to be welcomed home by a large crowd, but a situation like that is unlikely, now that their family and friends have left.
"Every day you build up a lot of excitement, because you think you're going to go home and only to be told a few hours before that you got pushed back again, and it's been a repeating cycle of frustration and excitement, " said an anonymous soldiers who says he's stuck in Kyrgyzstan.
Soldiers from the 1st Brigade's Main Body 16 boarded their plane in Manas, Kyrgyzstan on September 11th to come home, but were grounded because of an unfixable mechanical problem.
That's where the trouble starts.
Fort Bliss Spokesperson Major Joe Buccino explained it in a statement: "This is no different from a flight delay from El Paso International Airport going to Dallas Fort Worth; if such a flight is delayed, the passengers cannot bump passengers scheduled for the next dallas fort worth flight".
The flights have been delayed on each subsequent day for what Maj. Buccino called 'safety reasons'.
"We worked day in and day out," the anonymous soldier said. "No days off. No holidays. No breaks and I mean, at least give us an explanation as to why. Why these delays? Why are we going through this? That's all like he families are owed at least that".
Families are upset, not just because their soldiers are stuck, but also because now they must pay to reschedule flights, pay for extra hotel nights and their soldiers won't get a big unified welcome home event.
"I don't even know if any families are going to wait, because a lot of other families are in the same boat as me," the soldier said. "They had families waiting and they had to leave, because it was getting too expensive to change their flights to extend their stay at a hotel".
The latest from Fort Bliss is they believe all of the soldiers will be relocated to Ramstein, Germany in the next 48 hours and that they'll come home as a big group on a civilian aircraft to Fort Bliss on September 22nd.