FORT WAINWRIGHT, AK, UNITED STATES
FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska - When most 4-year-olds are asked who their favorite superheroes are, the question is often answered with the names of famous comic book legends like Spiderman and Batman.
For Aiden Marks, 4, of Fort Wainwright, his superhero doesn't wear a cape or have special powers. Instead, his hero wears camouflage and dog tags.
According to Aiden, his hero is his father, Army Spc. Jason Marks, a soldier with the 25th Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division.
"My dad's cooler than superman," Aiden said as he flaunted a white T-shirt the words 'My daddy is my hero' written in patriotic colors.
Aiden, his brother Noah, 2, and 10-month-old sister Peyton, welcomed home their hero and father during a reception ceremony March 29 at Fort Wainwright's Alert Holding Area.
"We are relieved to have him back home," said Jenny Marks, Jason's spouse, as the family of four awaited his arrival. "I am very happy to have him home ... we all missed him so much and it's great to be a family again."
Marks was one of more than 200 soldiers who were reunited with their friends and family during a ceremony marking the end of a yearlong deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Throughout the deployment the Arctic Wolves conducted missions in southern Afghanistan and worked with the Afghan National Security Forces in an effort to improve security and provide the people of southern Kandahar province with a stable form of governance.
During this time the 1-25 SBCT reached many historical benchmarks, including the first ever-independent operations in which Afghan security forces planned, coordinated and executed security operations in the Panjwa'i district.
Marks, who also deployed to Afghanistan in 2009, said he could tell a huge difference in the cooperation by Afghan forces and returns home proud of the brigade's accomplishments.
He said he will feel better when all of his battle buddies return home.
He won't have to wait long as flights carrying the remaining soldiers are scheduled to return to Fort Wainwright over the next few weeks.
To follow the soldiers' return friends and family members are encouraged to check out the Stryker Brigades social media websites. https://www.facebook.com/1SBCT25ID
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This work, Friends and families reunited with Arctic Warriors, by SSG Thomas Duval, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.