It's been a long, hard year in Iraq for members of the 48th Brigade, and last night hundreds more of them came back home. Two waves of soldiers returned. The first group had close to 300, many with an armored company out of Calhoun. But there were also several dozen soldiers from Hinesville and Savannah.
Then, another 150 soldiers got to make that march across Cottrell Field at Fort Stewart.
WTOC was there for both, along with anxious family members. It's been a long time coming, and a tough wait, watching countless other homecomings over the last few months.
As the first group crossed Cottrell Field, Sarah Menard could barely contain herself. "It's been rough, but we're really happy that today is here," she said.
And when they got the okay to charge the field, she was ready to search out her husband, Cpl. Jeffery Menard, who had trouble finding her in the crowd. "No, I hate to say it, but I never saw her until she came running up to my side."
With the Menards living in Savannah, Sarah's seen lots of soldiers coming home with the Third Infantry Division over the last few months, but had to wait for the 48th Brigade, until now.
"It has been weird," she said. "As the wife of a National Guard soldier, I thought I'd never have to do this, but I'm proud that I did and I'm proud of my husband and just the feeling that I have of him coming home is unbelievable."
Now though, none of that matters, Sarah, Cpl. Menard and their daughter Emily are back together once more.
The colors of the 48th Brigade came back just Monday, marking the official homecoming of the group. That means these happy returns are getting close to wrapping up.