Third ID Soldier Returns Early

Sgt. Carrethers sees his daughter for the first time in ten months.
Sgt. Carrethers sees his daughter for the first time in ten months.

Little by little, soldiers are making their ways back home from war. Last night was a reunion for Sgt. Joseph Carrethers and his family after almost a year. He is one of the very few Fort Stewart soldiers returning home. Sgt. Carrethers is going to school in Alabama in September, and soldiers who have school requirements or emergencies are being sent home early. Carrethers had been in the Middle East on a normal rotation since September 8, 2002.

"I said I don't mind as long as he is in the States," his wife, Alischea, said about the fact he'll soon be on his way to Alabama.

His plane was supposed to come in at 6:28pm, and those last few minutes of watiting were unbearable for Alischea and her family and friends. Like many other military moms, she says life was turned upside down without him.

"It's overwhelming, it's like this all the time, I'm just ready I'm very ready," she said.

And when Sgt. Carrethers' plane finally came in, Alischea says it was one of the happiest moments of her life.

Alischea says she never expected him to be gone so long, and she doesn't know what she would do without a little help from her friends. Sgt. Carrethers says being in Alabama for two months in nothing compared to being overseas.

The rest of the Third Infantry Division soldiers are expected to start returning at the end of August.

Reported by: Kim Angelastro,