Family and friends welcome home Sgt. Weckman

Patrick Fisher, Staff Writer

Sgt. Joshua Weckman had his own small cheering section as family and friends welcomed him and Sgt. Steve Tuma home on July 20 at the Bloomington Armory.

Sergeant Weckman was deployed in September 2005 with the Minnesota Army National Guard Red Bull 1st Brigade Combat Team/ 34th Infantry Division Military Police. He spent six months training at Camp Shelby, MS, before leaving for Iraq in March 2006.

He is the son of Larry and Diane Weckman of New Prague and a 1998 graduate of New Prague High School. Weckman and his wife Alissa currently live in Shakopee.

He was stationed at Camp Adder/ Tallil Air Base in southern Iraq, providing security for supply convoys.

While stationed in Iraq, the Red Bulls executed more than 1,400 critical re-supply missions throughout the country, which covered a total of 2,872,264 miles and required the escorting of 29,790 trucks. They also found and safely cleared 129 of 298 Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) encountered and operated 14 convoy escort teams and nine route security teams. With more than 1,020 soldiers, the Red Bulls were the largest battalion in the First Brigade Combat Team/34th Infantry Division.

Diane Weckman said her son was glad to see blue skies and green grass. In Iraq, the skies are usually white, and there's very little green. He was also grateful to all the individuals and groups who sent packages.

He said that you don't know what that's like to hear your name called for mail

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