Soldier gets unexpected hometown welcome

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Jessica Wengler embraces her
grandmother Betty Wengler during a welcome home party for
Wengler Wednesday at the American Legion. Wengler served
two tours in Iraq and just returned from duty in Afghanistan.

When U.S. Army St. Sgt. Jessica Wengler crawled out of the SUV at the American Legion club building Wednesday, she was surprised and embarrassed.

Yet she wholeheartedly accepted the hugs, handshakes and pats on the back from friends, family and even total strangers as she stood in her camouflage uniform in the warm August heat.

"Let's go inside. She's got to be hot in that uniform with the long sleeves and long pants," someone said.

Inside the Legion club, 916 E. South St., Wengler and the group of nearly 50 supporters were greeted by a "Welcome Home Jessie" sign, tables decorated in red, white and blue and a buffet of sandwiches and chips.

To read more, see Thursday's Hastings Tribune or the Tribune e-edition.>>>

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