FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. - After a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan, Soldiers with 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, are making their way back to Fort Campbell.
The first flight arrived late Sunday evening and returned with approximately 200 “Bastogne” soldiers.
“Thank you all for taking care of yourselves and your battle-buddies downrange, now go home and take care of your families,” said Brig. Gen. Mark R. Stammer, acting senior commander of the 101st Airborne Division, before soldiers were released from formation for 15 minutes of family time.
Jill Freeman and Shawna Tietze were present at the ceremony to welcome home their returning Soldier Sgt. Michael Martinez, a mortarman with 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st BCT, 101st Abn. Div.
This was Martinez’s 2nd deployment overseas.
Freeman, mother of Martinez, and Tietze, his girlfriend, agreed that it is amazing and are very relieved to have Martinez back home.
“I was just worried about him,” Tietze said.
“Thank you to all the men and women that were over there and thank god they all came home,” Freeman said. “The first time he was over there it was a lot worse. I’m just going to be so happy and try to see him as much as I can now that he’s back."
Spc. Jacob Castillo, an infantryman with 1st Bn., 327th Inf. Rgt., 1st BCT, 101st Abn. Div., said it was kind of shocking at first when asked how it felt to be home.
“I don’t know if it’s really even hit me yet. I just need to get out and about and get back on a daily routine,” Castillo said.
Castillo then went on to talk a little bit about his overall experience of being overseas.
“It was a pretty good lifestyle, you really had nothing to worry about, no bills, we just had to worry about patrols, guard, and running with a good head,” he said.