Local News

Bragg soldiers who fought Ebola return home following medical quarantine

Posted January 22, 2015 8:04 a.m. EST
Updated January 23, 2015 9:21 a.m. EST

— About 20 Fort Bragg soldiers were reunited with their families Thursday after spending the first three weeks of the new year in medical quarantine.

"Who doesn't love their husband coming home early? That's the best news that you can ever get," said Jessica Britton, a soldier's wife.

The troops deployed to West Africa in November to help stop the spread of the Ebola virus, and they returned to the United States in the final days of 2014. 

They spent 21 days at a military base in Virginia to make sure they did not contract the disease. 

Before going to West African on the humanitarian mission, the troops had to learn how to put on protective gear from head to toe to keep them safe from the deadly virus. 

"It's a good mission. It's a feel-good mission," said Staff Sgt. David Meyer. "The people there were very appreciative, and to see their faces and how well they reacted was absolutely awesome. If you didn't feel good with what you were doing there, you need to be checked."

The troops were from a mix of units, including the 50th Signal Battalion. 

"My mission was commander of the 440th blood detachment," said Maj. Teresa Terry, who serves at Womack Army Medical Center. "Blood usage was very low in that population, so we were primarily there to train the Monrovian medical unit to establish their own blood operations."

Military reporters were also deployed to tell the Army's story.

They returned to a brief speech from Major General Jeffrey Smith, who is Fort Bragg's deputy commander, then released to their families.

"Oh, I couldn't wait. I couldn't wait just to see his face and know he's safe and we're OK," said Patricia Teahl, mother of a soldier.