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Special Troops Battalion arriving back
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Sgt. Dusten Clark had a happy reunion with his wife Crystal and son Austen at Newman Fitness Center Friday. - photo by Joe Parker Jr. / Coastal Courier
Friday another shipment of 80 Third Infantry Division soldiers returned from Iraq, with live music from the band added to the standard welcome home observance.
Lt. Col. Brian Gale, 3rd ID rear detachment commander, was hastily pressed into service as speaker.
"I'm happy to have you back," he said, and, gesturing to about 200 family members and friends assembled for the ceremony, "They are even happier."
Crystal Clark and her 9-month-old son Austen had been sitting quietly waiting for Sgt. Dusten Clark. "But, really, I'm so excited I don't know what to do," Crystal said.
Austen had already worn himself out saying, "Da-da, Da-da, Da-da," all day, she said.
The Clarks live in Hinesville and the sergeant was able to return home for two weeks for Austen's birth.
Gale told the members of the Special Troops Battalion, "You and your fellow Marne soldiers secured an area the size of West Virginia, suppressing the violence in that region and denying extremists safe haven.
"You have also succeeded magnificently in building up the capacities of Iraq.  Your names, and the names of the operations you conducted while deployed -- Husky, Torch, Slam, Rugged, Pile Driver -- are written large in the history of Iraq. Dog-faced soldiers, you have every right to be proud of what you have done."
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