Third ID Colors Back on American Soil - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

01/10/06

Third ID Colors Back on American Soil

Gen. Webster (center) arrived with the division colors this morning. Gen. Webster (center) arrived with the division colors this morning.

It's official: the Third Infantry Division is now stationed back at Fort Stewart. The division colors came back very early this morning along with the commander of the division, Maj. Gen. William Webster, and the division Command Sgt. Major William Grant.

Family members and loved ones where up before the sun, braving the chilly weather, waiting for their soldiers' warm embrace.

"I'm just so excited to be home, I tell you," said Sgt. Maj. Grant. "I've got a brand new grandson, I get to play with the girls and even hang out with the dog a little bit."

"It was wonderful to bring back the division colors, now that more than half of the division is either home or will be home today," said Gen. Webster. "And I wanted to return here and start to get us settled back to some regular business here on Fort Stewart or Hunter, so it's great to be able to bring the colors home."

With more than half the soldiers safe and back at home, Gen. Webster says he's proud of what these soldiers accomplished. "When we arrived there was only one battalion of the Iraqi army that was fighting the war with us in Baghdad, and now there are 22 battalions that have taken over the fight and two divisions of police forces."

Under their security watch, the Third ID also made history when Iraq held its first two successful elections. But despite all accomplishments, there's still work to be done.

"This will take a long time, because these insurgents are not going to give up that easy," said Gen. Webster.

For now, these soldiers will be making up for lost time with their loved ones, people they haven't seen in more than a year.

About 9,000 Third ID soldiers are still in Iraq. They'll be coming home over the next couple of weeks. The division will spend its time home training.

They could be redeployed as early as December of this year.

Reported by: Nicole Teigen, nteigen@wtoc.com

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