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Published:September 10th, 2006 05:25 EST

Major Jill Metzger is Coming Home by Staff Sgt. Jeremy Larlee

By Judyth Piazza CEO (Editor)

The world seemed to stand still for retired Lt. Col. John Metzger as he listened for news of his daughter Maj. Jill Metzger.

Major Metzger was reported missing Sept. 5 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, and found alive Sept. 8 by Kyrgyz law enforcement officials.

Respecting the wishes of his daughter to live life as normal if something happened to her, Colonel Metzger was at his local YMCA playing racquetball with friends. His wife Jeannette called the YMCA after she received the good news from Air Force officials. 

When he heard his name called over the court's loudspeaker, the Colonel knew that the call must be about his daughter. The path to the phone was a 50-foot hallway, but to him it seemed to stretch for 10 miles.

After learning of the good news, the colonel said, he felt an incredible feeling of exuberance and his legs almost gave out underneath him.

Colonel Metzger and his wife were able to speak to their daughter briefly this morning during a phone call. His wife said she is very grateful to the people who helped recover her daughter. 

"I would hug them and I would say thank you," she said. "They found Jill, and Jill is a special person."

Both parents said as the phone call progressed they started to hear the tone of their daughter's voice become more cheerful. They also learned that the ordeal has not changed their daughter's commitment to participate in one of her favorite competitions.

"Even though she has been through this traumatic experience, she still wants, as of this very moment, to run in the Air Force marathon."

Since hearing the news, Mrs. Metzger said, she has been smiling all day and she can't wait for the reunion with her daughter.

"I just can't tell you what it meant to know that she is going to be with us in a few days and I can actually hug her and hold her in my arms," she said.

SOURCE:  US Air Force