48th Brigade Guardsmen Home at Last - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

04/20/06

48th Brigade Guardsmen Home at Last

Gov. Sonny Perdue embraces a returning Guardsman. Gov. Sonny Perdue embraces a returning Guardsman.

Home at last, about 300 48th Brigade soldiers flew into Hunter Army Airfield last evening. It's been about a year since the Georgia National Guard unit deployed to Iraq, and last night, hundreds of people greeted them as they got off the plane, including Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue.

"It's a great day to welcome these guys home on behalf of the 9 million Georgians," the governor said. "We're so proud,  they done a wonderful job and made us so proud, but it's been a great homecoming."

The celebration didn't end there. Soldiers boarded busses and headed to Hinesville for a formal ceremony at Fort Stewart. Buses blew their horns announcing the arrival of the Guardsmen about 11pm.

They say it's great to finally be home. "It's an 18-hour flight, then the time sets back, so it feels like we been traveling for about 48 hours," said Spc. Dan Paul, Jr., adding he felt "pretty tired."

The returning troops belong to A and C Companies of the First Battalion, 121st Infantry Regiment. The 48th Brigade is made up of more than 2,500 citizen-soldiers from Georgia.

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