Archive for Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Rep. Tafanelli welcomed back to House with standing ovations

January 10, 2006

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— Lee Tafanelli reported for duty again.

But this time he returned to the House after a tour commanding a Kansas National Guard battalion in Iraq.

Tafanelli, a Republican from Ozawkie, said he had a greater appreciation for family and country, and believed the United States was doing the right thing in making Iraq "better and safer."

He was greeted with praise from House Speaker Doug Mays, R-Topeka, and several standing ovations from his colleagues.

Tafanelli resigned his House seat in 2004 when his 891st Engineering Battalion was called to active duty and sent to Iraq.

The unit returned last month after a year working in hot spots conducting a wide range of missions, including clearing routes of explosive devices. Two soldiers died in the deployment.

While Tafanelli was gone, Joann Flower of Oskaloosa, a veteran legislator who had retired earlier, filled in for Tafanelli.

On Monday, with his wife, Tammy, and two children Nick, 12, and Francesca, 9, at his side, Tafanelli was sworn back into office.

"Our soldiers have done their duty," Tafanelli said in a speech to the House. "They have done everything we have asked of them."

During the State of the State address, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius welcomed Tafanelli back.

"Lee, we're happy for your safe return," she said.

Comments

erichaar 9 years, 6 months ago

Representative Tafanelli, thank you for your service to our country and to our state.

Hong_Kong_Phooey 9 years, 6 months ago

I agree with erichaar. How come all the guys/girls that have gone over there think that we are doing the right thing by being there, but all the protestors over here say that we have done nothing but ruin their lives??

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