Local News

200 Bragg Troops Make Early Morning Return From Iraq

Posted December 23, 2004 8:48 a.m. EST

— Early this morning, there was a homecoming at Fort Bragg -- the last homecoming of troops before Christmas.

Troops that were serving in Iraq arrived home for the holidays.

"It could be two more hours, two more days, I'm just glad he's coming home," said Tonya Walton, whose husband returned. "I'm so glad he'll be here."

Another spouse, Kim Stowers, waited for her husband who was gone for nearly a year.

"It's been almost 12 months and it's felt like about three years," Stowers said.

More than 200 soldiers from three different groups of the 18th Airborne arrived early Thursday morning. Their units are the 16th Military Police Brigade, the 7th Transportation Battalion and the 126th Finance Battalion.

Melissa Taylor hugged and held her child when she arrived.

"It's been about 8 1/2 months since I've seen him," said Taylor of the 18th Airborne. "He's grown up. He's grown up."

Other parents knelt on the ground with their children.

"We try to take it a little bit at a time and find out what's been going on and how they've been, and what they've been doing," said Jeff Maddox of the 18th Airborne.