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Emotions stir small crowd at welcome
'Ammo Dogs' home after 9 months in Kuwait
0106 Troop return
Spc. Josh Eley and his wife, Theresa, embrace Friday afternoon following a welcome-home ceremony on Fort Stewarts Cottrell Field for the 3rd Infantry Divisions 24th Ordnance Company. The soldiers completed a nine-month deployment in Kuwait. - photo by Photo by Randy C. Murray

About 50 soldiers with the 3rd Infantry Division’s 24th Ordnance Company arrived home Friday afternoon following a nine-month tour in Kuwait. The soldiers were greeted on Fort Stewart’s Cottrell Field by newly promoted Brig. Gen. John Hort, the 3rd Infantry Division’s deputy commanding general-rear.
While the soldiers stood in formation in front of the reviewing stands, friends and family members screamed and waved American flags or welcome-home posters. Hort welcomed the troops then turned his attention to their families in the bleachers. Although the crowd wasn’t large, its commotion nearly drowned out the 3rd ID Band.
“I want to say, ‘hello,’ to you family members,” Hort shouted. “You are the wildest welcome-home bunch I’ve seen at a welcome-home ceremony. That’s enough said, though. Let’s get reunited and back together again.”
Those in attendance sang the Marne Song and the Army Song, then everyone was invited to seek out their soldiers.
Spc. Oliver Hobraugh and his wife, Allison, melted together in an affectionate embrace. The two married only three weeks before Hobraugh’s deployment, which was his third. The ammunition-supply specialist previously served two combat tours in Iraq.
“I can’t even talk,” his wife said.
“It feels great,” her husband spoke for her. “I’ve been waiting nine months for this day.”
The young couple hurried off the field while other couples and families continued hugging and wiping away tears of joy.
Spc. Josh Eley’s 1-year-old daughter, Lisa Rose, didn’t seem to know what to think of her father as he held her in his arms. She was only 3 months old when he left.
“I missed her birthday by just six days,” said Eley, who explained that ammunition-supply specialists are called “ammo dogs.” “We plan on celebrating her birthday again anyway.”
Eley’s wife, Theresa, explained that their daughter probably is familiar with her daddy’s face because they Skyped every day while he was gone. The toddler just isn’t used to seeing him in person, she explained.
The 3rd ID’s 24th Finance Company is scheduled to redeploy this afternoon. The next major redeployment will be the 3rd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 1st Armor Brigade Combat Team.

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