It’s wonderful to have members of the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team back home. The last of the Vanguard troops have walked across Fort Stewart’s Cottrell Field, uncased their colors and embraced the loved ones who’ve patiently waited for their return, bringing Fort Stewart back to full capacity.
Now that everyone is home and our community once again is bustling, we can hope for an upswing in the local economy. We’ll be happy to watch soldiers and their families enjoy quality time and catch up with friends at area events and functions. Traffic on the roads — especially around post — is picking up, but that’s a small price to pay in exchange for having our brave men and women within arm’s reach.
Let’s make sure we let all service members — recently redeployed or not — know how much we appreciate their sacrifices. It has been a rough decade for the 3rd Infantry Division and it’s not over yet.
The 3rd Infantry Division’s Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion will deploy late this fall. The battalion’s 700 troops will head to Iraq in support of Operation New Dawn. The length of the deployment is not yet definite; however, 3rd ID Commander Maj. Gen. Robert “Abe” Abrams recently said that the soldiers could be there for a year. The DHHB has deployed to Iraq four times, the most recent ending in November.
The battalion’s four treks to the Middle East are not surprising considering the 3rd ID at Fort Stewart has completed more deployments during the War in Iraq than any other Army installation. In fact, the division has one of the most successful combat records of any U.S. Army division — just one more thing we can be proud of.
The Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion certainly won’t be alone when they arrive in Iraq. As our soldiers depart, we must be reminded that they will join thousands of U.S. troops serving in war-torn nations. Recent Pentagon figures show that there are nearly 50,000 troops in Iraq and roughly 100,000 in Afghanistan.
While a welcome-home is a hopeful indicator that the war finally may be winding down regarding the United States’ involvement, we must continue to offer support to the remaining forces and their families.
The bravery and dedication our troops demonstrate throughout countless deployments, missions and duty-station changes truly is commendable.
It sure is nice to have the 4th IBCT back at Fort Stewart. It’ll be even better to have all our soldiers home. Here’s hoping that dream becomes a reality sooner rather than later.