Most of the soldiers with the Third Infantry Division have been home from Iraq for a couple of months, and now one group is being honored for all the hard work they did while they were there. The ceremony was held today at Hunter Army Airfield, where more than 500 soldiers of the 603rd Aviation Support Battalion were honored. They're the second-largest support battalion in the division.
"We're probably one of the most important portions of the armed forces," said SFC Erick Green. "We keep everybody going. Combat service support is probably the most key ingredient to fighting a successful war."
And now they're being rewarded for all their hard work and dedication during the major fighting campaign in Iraq. "It was through their efforts and support that the Aviation brigade was able to accomplish numerous missions in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom," said Maj. Mark Weinerth, the battalion's executive officer.
It's an honor these men and woman rightfully deserve. "This is spectacular," said SFC Green. "I mean, this is awarding the soldiers and showing them a way that we appreciate their service and also bringing their family members and getting them involved."
While most award ceremonies don't include family members, this was also a day where their efforts are being rewarded too. Spouses stood with their soldiers to receive recognition. As Maj. Winerth put it, "It was just as much sacrifice on their part and having time to enjoy the award with their soldiers as opposed to standing in formation, really meant a lot to the family members and to the soldiers involved."
The USO will be celebrating the return of our troops this Thursday in downtown Savannah. Festivities kick off at 3pm on River Street. There will be free food for active military and their families and plenty of live music. The fireworks start at 9pm.