Iraq Vet Honored On His Return Home

By: Michael McGuire

Iraq vet honored on his return home

NORWICH – Spec. Military Policeman Joshua J. Palmer said that to be back spending time with family and friends in his home state, after completing a second tour in Iraq, is a wonderful feeling.

Palmer, 24, a Sidney-native and father of two who now lives in Ft. Benning, Ga., with his wife Victoria, gathered with loved ones and community members on Saturday night at the Chenango County Farm Bureau headquarters in Norwich to receive a citation from the New York state legislature, in honor of his dedicated military service. The award was given in-absentia by Assemblyman Clifford Crouch, who was unable to attend the ceremony sponsored by the farm bureau.

“It’s a lot to adjust to,” said Palmer, who arrived back in United States Dec. 11, referring to being away from the fighting. “One of the more difficult things to adjust to is the traffic laws,” he said laughingly. “The best thing is not having to worry about getting hurt.”

The Army policeman has received numerous awards since enlisting in August 2000, including the Army Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, and the War on Terror Expeditionary and Service medals.

Josh’s parents, John Palmer of Jefferson and Mary Palmer of Sidney, said they’re overjoyed and relieved their son is home safe.

“It’s just such a relief,” John said, “that he’s home, and safe, and in one piece.”

“I couldn’t wait for him to get up here,” said Mary. “I’m just not ready for him to leave.”

Palmer will be in Delaware County for the next two weeks visiting family and friends with his 18-month-old daughter Jana. His wife Victoria, who is also in the Army, and six month-old daughter Justice, remain in Ft. Benning. Prior to coming home earlier this month, the 2000 Sidney High School graduate was stationed in Najaf, Iraq, where he had been training Iraqi police forces.

When asked about the current status of the war from a soldier’s perspective, Palmer said morale is still high and that progress is being made.

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