It's always a blessing when a U.S. soldier serving in Iraq comes home.
This week Saleena Andrea, 27, of Centreville received that blessing earlier than she expected. After being scheduled to return from a tour in Iraq this fall, her husband Sgt. Jeffrey Andrea's stay was extended to some time next year.
However, a few weeks ago Saleena discovered Jeffrey, 28, would be returning Wednesday of this week.
Originally from Boston, Jeffrey moved to Country Club Manor after marrying Saleena, a 10-year resident, after his active duty ended in 2001. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1997 and was active till 2001.
He then joined the Fairfax County Police Department as a Police Officer First Class, working out of the Mount Vernon District Station.
Jeffrey entered the Marine Corps Reserves and was activated in January of 2005. He left for Iraq in March where he was stationed in Ramadhi.
Jeffrey was part of a special task force that helped get an Iraqi police force up and running. “He was in a unique position ... working along side with the Iraqi police,” said Saleena. “He had daily street patrols right in the cities."
Saleena says that the couple e-mailed a lot and was able to talk frequently but that nothing can compare to having him home safely.