A taste of peace

By BETH CRACE State Journal Staff Writer Published:

When next August rolls around, it will have been two years since Brandon and Kelly McGaughey entered the Westside Christian Church and took their marriage vows.

But if you wanted to call them newlyweds, technically, that would still be OK.

The McGaugheys share a story with thousands of other military families around the country. Last March, Brandon McGaughey left his young wife, friends and family at home for deployment overseas.

An Army specialist with the Fort Campbell-based 101st Airborne, McGaughey has been serving in Iraq as a part of "Operation Iraqi Freedom." He's spent more of his marriage overseas than at home.

The 26-year-old Western Hills graduate says he hit the ground running Dec. 13 when his airplane landed in Atlanta, beginning his 15-day mid-tour leave. McGaughey came home to good news, learning quickly of the capture of ousted Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

He says Hussein's capture is a morale boost for a weary group of soldiers who've seen hard-fought battles and felt the distrust from a population of people eager to see Americans go.

"You'll hear people in the markets and shops (talking) about how they don't want us there," says McGaughey. "And some of us have been there so long, we don't want to be there either."

Through it all he's remained proud of the job American troops have done and admiring of President Bush's resolve to see their mission through.

For more on this story, see the latest State Journal.

Want to leave your comments?

Sign in or Register to comment.