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Students welcome home Janesville soldier

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ANN MARIE AMES
January 22, 2010
— No celebrity could have received a more enthusiastic welcome than Spc. Brandon Zweifel did Thursday afternoon.

Wilson Elementary School staff and students lined the sidewalks in front of the school to welcome Zweifel, a former Wilson student, home from Iraq.


Cheers erupted as Zweifel’s dad, Scott, drove the soldier slowly past the school.


Students waved flags and handmade posters. They waited eagerly for Zweifel, 22, to get out of the car and get hugs and high fives from all.


Many teachers were tearful as they watched students greet their colleague’s son. Lorie Zweifel is a special-education aide at Wilson. Especially emotional was Zweifel’s second-grade math teacher, Linda Medine.


The enthusiastic welcome was a big surprise for Zweifel, who arrived Saturday at Fort McCoy after a tour in Iraq. Zweifel is a member of the HHT 1-105 CAV unit based out of Madison. The unit is part of the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the Wisconsin Army National Guard.


As they drove to Janesville from Fort McCoy, Scott pretended he was calling in to work when he called the school to let teachers know when they would get there, Brandon said.


“I wasn’t expecting this at all,” Brandon said, beaming.


His plans for the rest of the day included getting some good “American” food, Brandon said.


“We’ve got to get some food in him,” Lorie said.


Wilson Principal Becky Bicha was quick to help out.


“When’s the last time you had a real Oreo?” Bicha asked. She handed him some cookies, and another staff member was quick to add some M & M’s.


Brandon left Wilson school with his parents and an armful of children’s posters. As he walked out, several people told him to have a good weekend.


“I will,” Brandon said. “You have no idea.”



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