News: 1/25th Torch party returns home
FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska - Approximately 50 soldiers with the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, out of Fort Wainwright, Alaska, arrived home safely from a yearlong deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Feb. 29, signaling the start of the unit’s return home.
This first group, also known as the “torch party”, will clear the way for a larger advance party of about 75 to 100 soldiers, who will work the logistics of bringing the main body of troops home.
The remaining soldiers of the 1/25th will start to filter in to Wainwright over the next several weeks until all of the more than 4,000 of its members return home.
The torch party was greeted by friends and family that eagerly awaited their arrival. Signs and gifts as well as long overdue hugs and other displays of joy awaited the soldiers at the Fort Wainwright Alert Holding Area, the final stop of their tour.
Ashley Springs, wife of Sgt. Nathan Springs, an infantryman with the 1/25th, was one of the lucky family members to welcome her husband home early.
“It’s very exciting, he wasn’t supposed to be home until April,” said Springs.
Springs said she and her daughter, Kallie, had gone to stay with her family while her husband was deployed. Having the support of her family and that of her husband’s family made the deployment “…not so bad,” she said.
The crowd cheered and some cried tears of joy as the Soldiers finally marched into the AHA through an archway of flags held by local veterans.
The soldiers stood tall as U.S. Army Alaska Deputy Commander, Lt. Col. Michael McCurry welcomed them home and told them how proud he was of them. He then turned over command of the formation to their commanding officer who gave the command of “Dismissed,” releasing the soldiers into the arms of the loved ones who had waited so long for them to return.
Date Posted:06.26.2012 19:41
Location:FORT WAINWRIGHT, AK, US
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