Local News

400 soldiers return to Fort Bragg after 9 months in Iraq

Posted September 21, 2015 6:45 p.m. EDT

— About 400 members of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team from the 82nd Airborne Division received a hero’s welcome Monday afternoon at Fort Bragg.

When the plane touched down at 4:30 p.m., the crowd of waiting family members exploded.

One of the more emotional moments came when soldiers got into formation after getting off the plane and then marched up to Fort Bragg’s Green Ramp.

The troops spent the last nine months in Iraq, training Iraqi Security Forces and assisting them in their battle against ISIS. They trained more than 12,000 soldiers in basic and advanced combat skills.

Family members were proud of what the soldiers accomplished while they were gone, but they also wanted to get their hands on loved ones whom they hadn’t seen in person for nine months.

The hugs and kisses were emotional as family members traveled from all over the country to be at Fort Bragg for the moment.

“We came from Birmingham, Alabama, to see our son come home from Iraq, and we’re just glad he’s home safe,” said Leigh Wren. “We’ve missed him so much.”

Monday’s arrival marked the largest group of soldiers returning from Iraq, and as they stood at Fort Bragg, their commander told them that they would remember the day for the rest of their lives.

“It’s so surreal,” said soldier Zena Landron. “It seems like this has taken forever, but I am just glad to be home.”