FORT STEWART, GA (WTOC) - A nine-month deployment has come to an end for a group of 3rd Infantry Division soldiers.
Just after 8 a.m. Wednesday, about 40 soldiers with the 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat team took their final steps in their journey home, as their loved ones got their camera's ready for the happy occasion.
The soldiers are returning from a 9 month deployment over in Iraq.
"Sergeant you have served your nation well," said Brigadier Gen. Jeffrey E. Phillips the 3rd ID Deputy Commander (rear) as spoke to the soldiers saying how proud he was of the accomplishments they have made.
"It's exciting to see the soldiers come back," Phillips said. "These soldiers are part of an early re-deployers coming back because they are able to reduce our strength in Iraq due to success there."
Many of the families arrived early at Cottrell field waiting for the soldiers to come home.
Lydia Rodriguez Traveled from Fort Lauderdale to greet her son during this joyous occasion.
"He is waiting for me to cook for him his special diner," said Rodriguez. "He likes steak and white rice."
Robyn Comstock came to see her husband and brought along their three children.
"It is rewarding when they come home," said Comstock.
"I miss him a lot," said 8-year-old Hunter Comstock.
For Jakelin John it was scary having her husband overseas fighting for their country but she couldn't wait to wrap her arms around him.
"I am very proud," said John. "He is doing great things for our country. I wish he was home, but he has purpose out there."
After the soldiers finished signing the army song their families made the mad dash.
"You missed by birthday," said Hunter to his Father. "I know," said Spc. Erik Comstock.
While the soldiers missed many important dates they say they will make it up during their time home.
"Go home spend time with them and get some sleep I'm exhausted," said Spc. Comstock.
The soldiers return home feeling a sense of accomplishment.
"Felt like we did a job well done and the soldiers are doing what they need to do to keep us safe," said Sergeant Alexander Rodriguez.
The majority of the division is expected to return home just in time for the holidays.