Oklahoma Air National Guard member returns home after wounded in Iraq

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Oklahoma Air National Guard F-16, Courtesy: Oklahoma National Guard

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – An Oklahoma Air National Guard member has returned to the United States after being wounded during a rocket attack in Iraq.

Tech. Sgt. Ariel White, a logistics management specialist with the 219th Engineering Installation Squadron (EIS), 138th Fighter Wing, Oklahoma Air National Guard, was wounded on March 11 while supporting Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq, according to an Oklahoma Military Department news release.

White briefly stayed at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany before returning to the United States for complete medical treatment.

Three medical air crew members from the 137th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, by chance, were on the flight with White from Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany. They provided care for her during that flight, as well as her flight from Germany to Kelly Field in San Antonio, according to the news release.

White said the 219th EIS command and leadership has worked hard to take care of her and her family.

“I am definitely feeling the connection of family with the 219th [EIS], 138th [FW] and other units I haven’t event thought about, like the 137th [SOW],” White said. “Everybody has stepped up and made me feel comfortable. I feel a sense of family and connection more than I ever had before. I always knew that existed, but now I am really feeling it.”

Tech. Sgt. Marshal D. Roberts, 28, of Owasso, Okla., died during the same attack that White was wounded in. Roberts was the first Oklahoma Air National Guard member killed in action, and the 20th Oklahoma National Guard member who died while deployed overseas since Sept. 11, 2001, according to the news release.

“The 219th EIS deploys worldwide to establish communications systems for American and allied forces and ensure they remain functional. They deployed to Iraq in late 2019,” the news release states.

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