By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Troop welcomes continue over weekend
Nearly 1,000 of 1st BCT now home
jp welcome home crowd
The crowd gets ready to welcome their soldiers home Saturday afternoon.
"This is the best ceremony you've ever been to," Lt. Col. Thaddeus Mcwhorter, deputy commander of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, told a huge welcome home crowd at Cottrell Field Saturday afternoon.
He spoke to 340 soldiers of the 1st BCT, most from the 3-69 "Speed and Power" Battalion just back from Iraq and several hundred family members and well wishers.
In accord with a unit motto, "Raiders Lead the Way" the 1st BCT was the first of Fort Stewart's units to head back to Iraq for a third time. They went with orders to deploy for 12 months and advice from their division commander, Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, to count on 18 months in Iraq.
The Pentagon standardized Operation Iraqi Freedom deployments at 15 months and the Raiders are on the way back to Fort Stewart.
One soldier's wife, Lori Walker, was almost too excited to talk and conveyed with gestures how excited and happy she was that her husband was coming back home. She was soon reunited with SFC Arnie Walker.
Two flights of troops returning from Iraq landed Saturday, two more are scheduled today and more will follow next week.
jp welcome back
Sign up for our e-newsletters