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Soldier glad to be back home

by Kurt Hildebrand

Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran Katherine Robinson will be the guest of honor at a welcome-home potluck 11 a.m. Saturday at Mills Park .

A U.S. Army journalist, Spc. Robinson returned to Carson City on Monday night after spending more than six months in Iraq with the Third Infantry Division.

Robinson returned to her station at Fort Stewart, Ga., on Aug. 8 and is presently on leave. She worked for the Senator News at Carson High School and graduated in 2000.

During her time overseas she spent time in Kuwait and Baghdad.

“We were a couple of days behind the initial assault,” Robinson said.

As a journalist, Robinson took photos and wrote stories for both the Fort Stewart newspaper and publications established in Iraq.

“Later on we went into Baghdad and worked at the civilian military control center doing media coordination and writing for the Liberator, which is a magazine we put out in Iraq.”

Robinson never saw combat while she was in Iraq, but she saw much of the aftermath.

“I was fortunate to not ever be close enough to real combat,” she said. “I was never in any immediate danger.”

Robinson served in one hotspot after the invasion, Fallujah, where 18 people were killed after U.S. soldiers were fired on from a crowd.

While there, she said, she experienced her most unusual story.

“We went with psychological operations soldiers and the Second Infantry Brigade out into town to deliver boxes of frozen chickens at the mosques,” she said. “Some of the places we went, they kicked us out and one imam we talked to said he would rather eat rocks than our chicken.”

Though the imam, the leader of prayer in a Muslim mosque, wasn’t grateful most people were gracious for the most part.

“A lot of people we met were really, really positive,” she said. “It was very hard to tell how people were going to react to you.”

While living in Iraq, Robinson’s accommodations varied from a tent in Kuwait to a house soldiers fixed up in the presidential section.

Looking back, Robinson said she has no regrets about going to Iraq.

It was a really, really good experience,” she said. “I wouldn’t mind doing it again, but I’m glad its over.”

And even though she is here and safe, she says she still thinks of those Americans still in Iraq.

“It’s really great to be back, but I still have friends back there,” she said.

IF YOU GO

What: Welcome home potluck for Kathy Robinson

When: 11 a.m. Saturday

Where: Mills Park

Bring food