February 26, 2004

Arbela Hosts Gathering To Welcome Soldier Back Home

Downtown Arbela was hopping Saturday afternoon as local residents came to honor soldier Tim Bowen who was home on leave after a year of service in Iraq.

Bowen’s grandparents, Dick and Twila Stevenson of Arbela hosted the hog roast and get together to honor Tim.

“I got so many letters, packages and cards from folks around here while I was in Iraq, my family and I felt like this would be the best way for me to get a chance to say thank you to everyone for their support by having them all get together with us,” Bowen said.

Bowen returned to the states exactly two weeks to the date of the gathering on February 21.

His unit, Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne, was deployed to Iraq in February 2003. They spent 12 months around Baghdad involved in a number of ground fighting incidents. The troops were responsible for opening and holding the supply routes for the advance on the Iraqi capital city.

In Bowen’s five and a half years in the service he has served in Kosovo and Bosnia as well as Iraq.

“I’ve been in 19 different countries in the past five years,” Bowen said. “I’ve seen more countries in Europe and Asia than I’ve seen states back here at home.”

Tim, a 1998 graduate of Knox County High School, is in the middle of his second four-year enlistment. He went to basic training at Fort Cambell, KY, where he spent his first three years. He has spent the past 2 and a half years based out of Fort Bragg, NC. Bowen is scheduled to return to Fort Bragg in March.

Tim is the son of Judy and Randy Kennedy of Mount Sterling, IA, and Dicky and Lisa Bowen of Edina. His grandparents are Dick and Twila Stevenson of Arbela.

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