Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

9 years later, Iraq veteran gets welcome home

Dec. 28, 2012 - 10:12AM   |   Last Updated: Dec. 28, 2012 - 10:12AM  |  
  • Filed Under

Former Army Sgt. Wayne U. Games returned from Iraq in 2003, but never got a welcome home celebration.

A 1987 graduate of Vineland High School, Games became seriously ill during his deployment and had to be flown directly to Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He was admitted to the intensive care unit suffering from high blood pressure, heart and lung problems, and had to be placed on dialysis.

Games, 42, has been classified as 90 percent disabled by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Most recently, he was diagnosed with Waldenstrom lymphoma.

"I never got a homecoming. I just remember getting sick, being flown to Ramstein Air Base in Germany, then to the United States. It took two days and when we got to Walter Reed it was nighttime and we were met by veterans who handed us some bags," said Games. "That was my homecoming."

On Dec. 16, Games received a much more appropriate welcome home and thank you from family, friends and officials who arrived at his Myrtle Street home.

The event was initiated by the "Welcome Home Committee" formed by Mayor Robert Romano to welcome back every soldier. The event was attended by Romano, as well as state Sen. Jeff Van Drew and state assemblymen Nelson Albano and Matthew Milam.

"Thank you for your service and for all you have done," Romano said.

Michael R. Francis, military representative with the office of Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-N.J., presented a certificate of appreciation from the congressman.

Games said he was overwhelmed by the special event, but his struggles after his homecoming continue.

A former casino employee at Borgata in Atlantic City, Games' illness kept him from being able to work after he returned from Iraq, according to his wife, Migdalia Games.

"He has nightmares. He can't be left alone. Every noise scares him," she said.

Games' home is a collection of photographs and memorabilia from Iraq as well as his life in the service.

He said his father, Charles, served with the 82nd Airborne.

"This was the only life I ever knew as a young man. All I ever wanted to do was to serve my country," Games said.

Games said his mother, Maria Games, signed his enlistment paperwork so he could enlist while he was still in high school.

"I couldn't wait. I just saw myself repelling down a rope out of a plane," he said.

Games served with a transport unit and his daily mission was to move soldiers, prisoners and supplies through Iraqi territory.

He said he believes his disability and possibly the cancer is related to http://www.armytimes.com/news/2012/09/military-senate-to-vote-on-burn-pit-registry-091212w/">fumes from a burn pit located near his base in Iraq.

Games said he is working with veterans groups to try to receive 100 percent disability and compensation.

"We live day to day," said Migdalia Games, who works at a bakery. "I go to work each day. Someone stays with him. We cut back on a lot. We're just trying to make ends meet."

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan
Rates

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.

This Week's Army Times

This Week's Army Times

More force-outs
Army expands involuntary separations of problem NCOs

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

Classifieds
MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.
Fraud in day cares
(0 replies)
   Last Post: garhkal
        Apr 24, 2014 11:42 PM
   Last Post: TJMAC77SP
        Apr 23, 2014 4:14 PM
   Last Post: Stalwart
        Apr 23, 2014 12:27 PM
Handbooks

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook