Hero's welcome for Army major at SFO

January 5, 2010 11:37:30 AM PST
There was a hero's welcome for an Army major Tuesday morning at San Francisco International Airport. This woman returned home to her family, knowing the program she developed in Iraq will continue to save lives.

Major Christine Borgognoni, husband David and daughters Chloe and Natalie hugged Tuesday morning for the first time since the major deployed to Iraq -- it's been too long.

"I'm very happy to see my girls, they changed a lot in a year and it's just good to be back and be a mom again," said Major Christine Borgognoni.

Such a far cry from the realities the major dealt with in the war zone, where she was called on to help put together a new strategy to move 100 convoys a day safely around Iraq.

Major Borgognoni and Major Mark Sweeney put together a plan to diminish the threat of IEDs using a combination of new and old military methodology.

"Some of the simple things that date back to all wars, varying your outs, varying your times, varying your distances between vehicles - just reviewing the basics as well employing new technologies to do that," said Major Christine Borgognoni.

In the year the major was in Iraq, husband David says he prayed daily for help from above and also had faith in those working with Christine on the ground.

"Having been a service member myself, I understand where she is at and I know that she trusts in the folks to her left and right and the folks above and below her to take care of each other, so her personal safety was that 'no news was good news' from my perspective," said David Borgognoni.

For 9-year-old daughter Natalie, the holidays just weren't the same without mom.

"We had to go through the holidays without her and sometimes you had to do things that you would do with mom, without mom," said Natalie Borgognoni.

As for the major, she knows the first thing she'll do when she gets home is a nice hot private shower -- something not available to the major in Iraq.

"We had to walk about two city blocks, through the sand, to a trailer to take a shower and then two city blocks back to wherever you are living. So to just walk in your house with a towel around you instead of fully dressed is a simple luxury," said Christine Borgognoni.

The major's husband has left up the Christmas decorations so the family can still celebrate together.