Troops given warm welcome during Bangor airport layover

Posted Jan. 15, 2013, at 5:34 a.m.

BANGOR, Maine — Around 300 U.S. Army troops arrived at Bangor International Airport on Thursday.

They were returning from Afghanistan and flew into Bangor for an hour-and-a-half layover. Among the troops returning home was Pfc. Caleb Frappier and among those waiting for him in the airport terminal were his family and fiance.

Frappier’s mother and stepfather, Christine and Matthew Bell, wanted to make the trip from their home in Connecticut to surprise Caleb after his nine-month deployment.

“It is such a relief to have him home,” said Matthew Bell. “We don’t have to wake up every morning and check the news.”

Frappier’s fiance Kelly Dixon, a sophomore and basketball player at Saint Michael’s College in Vermont left from New York the night before following an away game and then traveled with the family from Connecticut.

“I’m so nervous,” said Dixon before Frappier’s arrival. “I’ve been to the bathroom nine or 10 times already.”

The family reunited for hugs and pictures before Frappier departed for Fort Lewis McChord in Seattle, Wash.