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Two soldiers’ chance re-encounter at local bed and breakfast

August 24, 2018—Two men decided to take their significant others on a quick, romantic getaway recently. Both men live several hours away from Excelsior Springs; one in Lawrence, Kansas, and the other in Wichita, Kansas. Both chose to make their reservations mid-week—an unusual time for a romantic getaway. And they both decided to come to The Inn on Crescent Lake.

Those two men had no idea what the other one was doing, but they did know each other because they had one other thing in common.

They served together in Iraq.

Greg Howell, left, with Lt. Col. Adam Krein. The two had a happenchance reconnection at a local Bed and Breakfast after a decade. INN ON CRESCENT LAKE | Submitted photo

Lt. Col. Adam Krein, with the Kansas National Guard, made the reservation for his wife and himself when he realized both their sons were off on summer adventures of their own, which left an opportunity for a quick getaway.

“We’d never stayed there before, but we love the area,” Krein said.

He and his wife Shanee loaded up their motorcycle and made their way to Excelsior Springs. Like many couples, the two decided to walk the beautiful grounds surrounding the Georgian mansion. As they walked, he heard someone yell, “Hey, Captain Krein! Captain Adam Krein!”

FROM IRAQ TO EXCELSIOR

Krein said when he turned, he didn’t immediately recognize the man. A decade had passed since they served together, and the man who called him had filled out and grown much more muscular than the young junior soldier he had once been. And, Krein said, after ten years, he had obviously grown more mature.

“At first, I was like, ‘Who in the hell is yelling at me?’” Krein said with a laugh. But soon he recognized Greg Howell. Howell served as a fire director specialist while Krein acted as commander for Headquarters Battery 1-161 First Field Artillery Battalion, out of Wichita.

They served together and trained together from 2007 through 2008. Krein said when National Guard soldiers train together, they see each other often, working out next to one another, training side-by-side, officers and junior soldiers together. So, he and Howell saw one another often. Then, the battalion deployed to Iraq in February of 2008. Howell received a transfer to another unit, but the two deployed over the same time, to the same place.

They spent some time chatting and catching up, but then returned to their significant others to enjoy their time at the inn.

Innkeepers Greg and Beverly Bohnert shared the moment on their social media. The two often share special stories of visitors, sometimes sharing pictures, as well.

“Although we are Kansas City’s most romantic getaway, sometimes we get to tell stories that involve a different kind of relationship,” they wrote.

By Samantha Kilgore • kimeberely@leaderpress.com

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