Family and friends recently gathered to welcome home Captain Ryan Hartwig at Chautauqua Park in Storm Lake. Hartwig returned to the states May 3rd following his service in Alahillah, Iraq. Captain Hartwig is with the Charlie Company, 502 Infantry Regiment , 101st Airborne Division.
The get together was planned by Hartwig's Mother Gloria Wilbur and others in honor of the soldier. "He doesn't have time to go and see everyone. We thought that this was a good way for family, friends and school teachers to get together," proudly stated Wilbur.
While in Iraq, Hartwig was involved in many missions. He would meet with his team at night, and during the day, led security duties at the US Regional Embassy. Hartwig replaced a Lt. Colonel in charge of security. "I had big shoes to fill," said Hartwig.
"I am one of the youngest soldiers at the top. There are a lot of pressures." He was also involved in plenty of dangerous duty, often taking part in three to four raids a week.
Hartwig's time with friends and family will be all too brief. He will be departing Storm Lake May 16 to begin duties as an Executive Officer for Recon training stateside until November 1, when he expects to be deployed once again for a year of additional security and intelligence service in Iraq.