Businesses Welcome Troops Home with Discounts - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

01/09/06

Businesses Welcome Troops Home with Discounts

Thousands of Third Infantry Division soldiers are back home. Soon to be home, commander Maj. Gen. William Webster. In January of 2005 he deployed along with the division colors, signifying where the Third ID would be stationed. After being stationed in Iraq for a year, the general and the division colors will officially be returning back to Fort Stewart early tomorrow morning.

Also home, more than a thousand soldiers over the weekend. But family and friends aren't the only ones welcoming back our troops. Businesses are booming not only in Hinesville but in Savannah as well.

A lot of businesses have been preparing for the troops' return, and if you take a drive around town, you'll see all kinds of signs offering soldiers lots of discounts.

"We're glad the troops are coming home," said Virgil Cordray with Saturn of Savannah. "They've been gone about a year and we're excited they're coming back home. They've had a safe trip and they've done a wonderful job for us over there and we're really proud of them and we're glad they're coming back."

Many of those welcome home signs are put up by business offering discounts for soldiers like Shaun Topper, just home from Iraq two days ago. He and his wife are in the market for a new car, something they were able to do without during his deployment.

"We thought we'd get a second car because it's easier to get to and from work," said Topper.

According to some dealerships, cars are one of the biggest items soldiers shop for, since many sold their cars before they deployed.

"They've been over there a year and they've saved a lot of money, a couple thousand dollars, and have a good down payment," said Leo Rea with Savannah Toyota. "They want to get into a new car and we're happy to accommodate them and we give them good deals."

As soldiers come home planeload by planeload, more and more businesses are posting signs, trying to make up for the business they lost while the Third ID was away. "It was really slow until the troops started coming home," said Cordray. "It is just really wonderful to see the uniforms around town."

Reported by: Nicole Teigen, nteigen@wtoc.com

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