Soldiers return home from Afghanistan

By Christy Hutchings - bio | email

FORT STEWART, GA (WTOC) - Wednesday's event was one more happy homecoming for our men and women in uniform serving at Fort Stewart. More than 100 of them are home from Afghanistan.

After a year deployment in Afghanistan, soldiers from the 293rd Military Police Company are finally home. "I probably won't be able to cry. It's a powerful feeling," said Priscilla Schaffer.

Schaffer says she can't wait. Today will be the day, her son will meet his father for the first time. After months of being apart, her family will finally be back together, and she's not alone. Lynnette Moore drove up from Daytona Beach to see her son. "It's going to feel wonderful. It's going to feel real good," said Moore.

Moore didn't have to wait long. After a brief ceremony, the families were off. "Glad to be out of Afghanistan," said Pfc. Frank Hilton Jr. "Nothing makes me happier than to come back to the United States where I can actually drive down the road and not worry about being blown up."

The unit has been in Afghanistan training National Police forces. Capt. Michael Thurman explains the progress the national police made. "Before they wouldn't do any patrols on their own, go out on their own, by the time we left were conducting patrols on their own."

It wasn't an easy year. They lost one their soldiers in an IED explosion, but they made it through, and made a lasting impression with the locals. "I went over there knowing I helped free up a little bit of Afghanistan," said Pfc. Hilton.

For some of the soldiers in the unit, this was their fourth and fifth deployments.

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