FORT STEWART, Ga.
Soldiers with 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team and Division Special Troops Battalion, both with 3rd Infantry Division, returned home to their Families in a welcome home ceremony at Cottrell Field on Fort Stewart, Oct. 24.
"I'm really excited," said Chantelle Patch, who was waiting for her fiancée, Spc. Jason Denson. "I'm having a hard time sitting still."
The Family Members also had a hard time standing still as they were waving banners and cheering almost an hour before the Soldiers arrived.
But the Families weren't the only ones who showed up to welcome home the Soldiers. "We want to make sure these Soldiers get welcomed home," said John Menard, Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 789. "They've been through a lot. They've been away for a year to fight for us. They've been away from their Families. I'm very proud they're coming home."
When the Soldiers arrived, Col. Bryan Luke, 2nd HBCT deputy commander, greeted them, thanking them for what they did. "All of us are very proud of you and your accomplishments in Iraq over the last year," he said. "Your sacrifices and those of your Family Members have led to the significant reduction in levels of violence in northern Iraq. You ensured the success of the Iraqi national elections, the construction of over 22 combined checkpoints, the closure of multiple [forward operating bases] and joint security bases." He added the returning Soldiers should be proud of what they had accomplished.
Major Garrett Landers was one of the returning Soldiers. "It feels wonderful to be back home with Family and friends," he said.