Soldiers assigned to the Long Knife Brigade and other supporting units at Contingency Operating Base Adder ring in 2009 with a balloon drop at the stroke of midnight. The New Year marked the passage of time for some Soldiers while it served as a memorable marker for where they were for others.

CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE ADDER, Iraq - While every New Year's Eve party marks the passage of time, the celebration at the base's Memorial Hall had a little more meaning for the Soldiers stationed here.

"We're in the year that we're going home," said Pvt. Lindsay Welsh of Chino, Calif., and assigned to the 10th Combat Support Hospital.

Instead of spending the night on the internet, talking with Family members or maintaining her average of reading one book per day, the combat medic rang in the New Year at a party with her friends and a couple hundred coalition Soldiers.

"I'm happy to be mingling and I'm out of my (barracks)," Welsh added.

While enjoying her company, Spc. Joy Olmstead, another 10th CSH medic from Omaha, Neb., has scratched another day off her calendar. "I'm one day closer to going home now," Olmstead said.

Staff Sgt. Edwin Joa, a supply specialist assigned to the 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division 'Long Knives,' was pleased to have found fellow Soldiers to celebrate with. "It was a coincidence that I was here instead of (Forward Operating Base) Hunter," said Joa, who is normally stationed at the remote FOB working with the Iraqi border patrol only a matter of miles from the Iraq-Iran border. "I will be able to say that I remember where I was on New Year's Eve. This isn't home, but I am making the best of it with my fellow Soldiers and friends."

Page last updated Mon January 5th, 2009 at 17:01