Local News

More Fort Bragg Troops Return Home

Posted July 28, 2003 11:48 a.m. EDT

— More than 200 Fort Bragg soldiers who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom returned to Pope Air Force Base Sunday night.

Troops from the 3rd Battalion, 27th Field Artillery Regiment and the 22nd Mobile Public Affairs Department, have been gone since April.

"It was a real-world mission. We actually had enemies out there who could harm us. Everything we were taught back here we had to implement as soldiers," soldier Donnell Rogers said.

Those enemies are still harming U.S. forces. Forty-one soldiers have been killed in Iraq since May 1, when President George W. Bush declared an end to major combat.

Soldier Randy Martin met his son, 6-week-old Joshua, for the first time Sunday.

"Incredible. I've been thinking about this since June 8 when he was born," Martin said.

Soldiers who are now back home are thinking about the comrades they left behind.

"I know they are going to come back home as soon as their job is done," another returning soldier said.

The first group of soldiers from the same units returned Friday night.