140 Fort Bragg soldiers return home from 9-month deployment
Posted February 11, 2019 8:21 a.m. EST
Updated February 11, 2019 8:42 a.m. EST
Fort Bragg, N.C. — More than 140 soldiers with the 659th Support Maintenance Company and 25th Quartermaster Company field feeding team were greeted with cheers and tears early Sunday when they returned to Fort Bragg after a nine-month deployment to four countries that included Iraq and Syria.
Among the families waiting for the soldiers at Green Ramp was Jassai Hernandez and her 5-month-old son Eli Hernandez, The Fayetteville Observer reported. Sunday was the first time Eli was held by his father, Spc. Jose Hernandez.
As a generator mechanic, Spc. Hernandez has spent the past nine months ensuring other U.S. Central Command soldiers deployed to Syria were supplied with electric power. About four months into the deployment, he was able to meet the newest addition to his family through photos and video messaging.
“I got like butterflies in my stomach right now. I can’t wait to see him,” Hernandez said minutes before holding his first child.
The strength of the soldiers is the strength of their families, said Lt. Col. Ricardo Jones.
Now that the soldiers are home, they will have Monday off and spend the next week reintegrating with their families, which includes family life counseling. Once the week ends, they will be given three weeks of vacation to spend with their families.