E-mail feedback


Iraq Journals

Glimpses of life in a war-torn country by GNS national security correspondent John Yaukey and photo director Jeff Franko.


Interactive timeline, image gallery

Recall key dates, browse defining photos from six weeks of combat in Iraq. (Requires Flash)


Recent headlines

General: Iraqi troops improve

January 26, 2005

Parties waging a polite battle to control Najaf

January 25, 2005

In Iraq, the question is: To vote or not to vote

January 25, 2005

Politics popular in Shiite areas

January 20, 2005


Also on the Web

Dispatches from Iraq

Special coverage and photo galleries of American troops serving in Iraq from The Honolulu Advertiser.

Iraq In-Depth

Take an interactive tour of Saddam's hide-out and capture at USATODAY.com's Iraq home page.


GNS Archive

Click here to browse more than 1,000 Iraq war news stories from the front lines and the home front.



Friday, April 18

Ex-POWS returning to U.S. Saturday night

By Charles K. Wilson | El Paso Times

Ex-POWS returning to U.S. Saturday night

EL PASO, Texas - The seven former U.S. prisoners of war, including five from Fort Bliss' 507th Maintenance Company and two Fort Hood Apache helicopter pilots from Fort Hood, Texas, are expected to arrive Saturday night at Biggs Army Airfield in what officials hope is a huge welcome celebration.

The El Paso community is expected to turn out to cheer the arrival of the seven Army soldiers who were captured by Iraqi forces in March.

The former POWs are expected about 8 p.m. ET.

``They will be reunited with their families and their unit leadership'' when they arrive, post spokeswoman Jean Offutt said. The pilots from Fort Hood will then continue to their post.

The soldiers from the 507th are Spc. Joseph Hudson, of Alamogordo, N.M.; Spc. Shoshana Johnson, 30, of El Paso; Spc. Edgar Hernandez, 21, of Alton; Pfc. Patrick Miller, 23, Park City, Kan.; and Sgt. James Riley, 31, Pennsauken, N.J. Another former POW from the 507th, Pfc. Jessica Lynch, 19, of Palestine, W.Va., who was rescued April 1 in Nasiriyah, continues to undergo treatment for her injuries at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

The two Apache pilots are Chief Warrant Officer David S. Williams, 30, Orlando, Fla. and Chief Warrant Officer Ronald D. Young, 26, Lithia Springs, Ga.

All five Fort Bliss soldiers were captured March 23 after an ambush near Nasiriyah, Iraq. Nine other Fort Bliss soldiers were killed and four injured. Seventeen Marines also were reported killed as part of the same March action.

Phyllis Hudman, mother-in-law of Spc. Joseph Hudson of Alamogordo, N.M., one of the former POWs, said her family had received a notice that the soldiers would arrive Saturday night.

``I'm excellent,'' Hudman said Hudson told her when he called earlier this week from Landstuhl. She said the soldiers have been overwhelmed by the attention they have been getting.

Officials at Beaumont Army Medical Center said they have made preparations for the arrival of the Fort Bliss POWs, who will be given medical check-ups before being allowed to go home.

``We have a task force that will be at the arrival site at the (deployment facility),'' Clarence Davis, hospital spokesman, said.

The task force will be made up of 15 people including administrative personnel, nurses and doctors specializing in primary care and mental health.