150 More Soldiers Return

Victor and Debbie reunited on the field.
Victor and Debbie reunited on the field.

More Third Infantry Division families are breathing a sigh of relief today. Since early this morning, more than a thousand soldiers returned to Fort Stewart. WTOC was there as they saw their loved ones for the first time in months. Debbi Torres drove with her fiance's family when she learned that Pvt. Victor Kaczynski was on his way home. She wanted to be the first person that he saw.

"Nobody's getting in my way," she told us. "I'll check anybody. I've been practicing."

The excitement could only build as the soldiers of HHC DISCOM unloaded and marched across Cottrell field. Then the homecomings began as Victor spotted Debbie first. For all the 150 soldiers, the feeling was elation.

"This is great, this is wonderful," said Sgt.  Phillip Palomo. "After all the hard work that we did, to come home and see my wife and my children and other colleagues that are already here, it's great."

"It was a difficult promise that I'd bring them all home, but I did that," said 1st Sgt. Cedric Burns. "Maybe with a few minor injuries, but for the most part, I brought them home safe."

And after hugs of excitement and gratitude, within a few minutes, each family was on its way home. When all the scheduled returns are over today, we'll have 4,600 who've come home since Friday, and more are expected home between now and Thursday afternoon.

Reported by: Dal Cannady, dcannady@wtoc.com