Third ID Soldiers Return

More than seven hundred Third Infantry Division soldiers were reunited with their loved ones on Saturday. The soldiers, from the 464th Armor Bravo Company left last October.

Staff Sergeant Allen Lawson missed his son's first birthday and first Christmas. But on Saturday, the family's prayers were finally answered. Allen returned home, just one day after a very special day he and his mother both wanted to celebrate together.

"We share the same birthday together, August 7th. So I waited...we're going to do it together," said Allen's mother,Vickie Lawson.

It's a day Allen, and his family, had been waiting for since October. "I'm happy, I'm back I'm ready to go home and be with my family now...we did our job." said Staff Sergeant Allen Lawson.

Allen also had another surprise waiting for him. His grandparents and best friend since kindergarten had all driven down to celebrate his homecoming and his birthday.

Birthday plans were underway, but the Lawson family said the best gift of all came home on Saturday. Allen's wife Lillian said,"It's wonderful, a great relief and it's the best feeling in the world to have daddy home."

Fort Stewart Officials said close to five thousand soldiers will be reunited with their loved ones by the end of the weekend.

Reported by: Melanie Ruberti,