Coal Grove rolls out welcome for returning soldier

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 14, 2005

COAL GROVE - Normally, signs outside Coal Grove businesses tantalize customers with sales information and thank them for their patronage. Saturday, the words on some marquees were those of welcome for a native son who has come home, safe and sound.

Adam Koster has spent the last year in Iraq, fighting for freedom far from home. He is a Senior Counterintelligence Agent with the U.S. Army's 30th Brigade Combat Team. He returned to the United States Dec. 2 and on his first three-day weekend, Koster brought his wife, Kim and children, Will and Reagan, home to Coal Grove.

"It's been amazing," Adam Koster said. "It's been like a homecoming and a family reunion wrapped up in one."

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His parents, Clarence and Donna Koster, were ready with hugs and patriotic mylar balloons hung on the fence rail in the front yard.

"I'm too tickled to think," Donna Koster said.

"I'm doing good," Clarence Koster said as he looked at his son and daughter-in-law. "This is great. I'm just tickled to have them home."

Family and friends gathered to greet them. His aunt, Stephanie Jenkins, of Ashland, Ky., was among those who came Saturday to greet the returning Kosters.

"I think this is great; he's such a good fella. It's been a year and a half since I've seen him."

Not only did his Coal Grove neighbors put out signs to welcome him home, Coal Grove police gave him an escort from the Ashland bridge all the way to his parents' house on North Street.

"That was wonderful. It lifted my spirits so much. I was already happy to be back but to see the police at the bridge," he said as his voice trailed off.

The police escort was a surprise for Adam, unaware that his wife had helped arrange it in his honor.

Koster, who now lives with his family in Charlotte, N.C., is home for at least a year but he may have to return to Iraq within the next three years for another tour of duty, especially since the military is critically short of counterintelligence personnel.

"We're keeping our fingers crossed," Kim Koster said. "Hopefully not for three more years."