More Third I.D. Troops Return to Fort Stewart - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

07/06/03

More Third I.D. Troops Return to Fort Stewart

Hundreds of military families at Fort Stewart now have their loved ones safe at home. Three hundred soldiers from the 24th Corps Support Group arrived back at Fort Stewart Sunday afternoon.

Their families and friends waited for hours, eager for their return. Michelle Dirksen, who was waiting for her daughter, Private First Class Jessica Bacon, said she didn't even mind the heat. "I'm so excited," she admitted. "I can't wait to see her. I could cry. I'm on the verge of tears."

While many families are happy about seeing their loved ones again, none have forgotten about the ultimate sacrifice many soldiers and families have made. "We regret those who did lose their loved ones," explained Debora Laster, "but sometimes things happen. "We just thank God that the ones who did make it are coming in today."

As the troops finally made it on to Cottrell Field, their families rushed to meet them. "I still don't believe I'm actually here," said PFC Jessica Baron as she hugged her mother tight. "It's not real to me yet."

As families get reacquainted after months apart, they still remember their fellow soldiers who are still in Iraq.

Representative Max Burns says they're hopeful soldiers will return soon. "I know a lot of families are anxious," he explained. "We're glad to get these 900 or so home, but we still got a lot of troops over there."

The military says the rest of the Third Infantry Division is scheduled to come home by late August and early September.

Reported by Nicole Teigen, nteigen@wtoc.com

 

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