News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists
SUNDAY, JUNE 11, 2006
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YOU DON'T SAY
Steve Stewart

Cheers for U.S. soldiers in Ireland

Jan and Carl Webb of Decatur and 600 or 700 other Americans (mostly their colleagues in the insurance business) were getting ready to fly home May 25 from Shannon, Ireland, when about 150 American soldiers arrived.

The soldiers were wearing desert camouflage, evidently headed to Iraq.

"I just stood up and hollered 'U.S.A.!' and the whole place went berserk," Jan says. "From one end (of the airport) to the other, they were cheering and applauding the soldiers.

The standing ovation for the soldiers lasted five or six minutes without ceasing."

The soldiers, separated from their countrymen by glass, reacted by "tipping their hats, raising their hands in the air and yelling 'U.S.A.!' ... They were so surprised in the beginning because you don't expect that when you're landing in a foreign country."

Close to home

Jan says the military men and women in Ireland were "very close to my heart" because the Webbs' son, Army Reserve Capt. Dustin Awtrey of Decatur, will be going to Iraq to train Iraqi soldiers.

Dustin and his wife, Angie, have a daughter, Alexandra, 3, and a son, Camden, 8 months. Dustin will leave for Iraq on Father's Day, June 18.

Fuel, food, friends, family

On the same day as the airport welcome in Ireland, Navy flight instructor Lt. Scott Braddock from Decatur eased his F-18 Super Hornet down for fuel in Huntsville.

His mother, Mary K. Braddock of Decatur, was there with the Big Bob Gibson's barbecue-stuffed potato and sweet tea he'd requested.

Another big Bob — Gov. Riley, who was about to depart on his plane — stopped to chat.

Scott, based in California, had carefully chosen his fuel stop while ferrying the plane to Naval Air Station Oceana near Virginia Beach, Va., Patrice Stewart reports.

After all, a gas-up in Huntsville meant he could see his wife, the former Katie Brown of Hartselle, and two daughters, who were visiting his in-laws.

The in-laws, Lee and Betty Brown, also met the plane, along with Scott's brother and sister and her family.

No hurricane, just rain

Even though Hurricane Katrina is still very much in the news, Jody Boudreaux of Lafayette, La., says Southwest Louisiana is now facing near-drought conditions.

Jody and his family are in town for the President's Cup junior soccer tournament. The name of their son Taylor's team? Lafayette Thunder.

"We've got teams there called Thunder, Lightning, Storm. We aren't having any of that. We're actually praying for some rain," Jody told Michael Wetzel.

Send stories for You Don't Say to steve@decaturdaily.com, or call Weekend Editor Steve Stewart at 340-2444. Or write P.O. Box 2213, Decatur, AL 35609. DAILY staff members contribute many of the items you see here. This column appears Sundays and Wednesdays.

Steve Stewart Steve Stewart
DAILY Weekend Editor

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