Fort Campbell Soldiers Return From 9-Month Deployment - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Fort Campbell Soldiers Return From 9-Month Deployment

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by Emily Luxen

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. – Almost 300 Fort Campbell soldiers have returned home to their families after a nine month deployment to Afghanistan.

Officials said 274 members of the 1st Brigade Combat Team "Bastogne," 101st Airborne Division returned home around 6 p.m. Monday. 

Hundreds of family members and friends were waiting on them, and many stood on the hot tarmac for hours waiting on the plane to land.

"We don't mind the heat," said Ruby Stanley, who was waiting on her nephew. "We want to see him get off the plane and put our arms around him."

Many in the crowd came with signs, special T-shirts, and were waving American flags. Even after waiting nine long months, many said the final few moments were the hardest.

"I am getting so excited," said Matthew Kaunz, who was waiting on his dad. "He will be here any minute now."

After the plane finally touched down, and a brief ceremony, family members were finally reunited with the soldiers. 

"Having family here when you get back means the world," said Matthew Kaunz, Sr., with the 1stBrigade Combat Team. "I don't have the words for it. I am overwhelmed."

All around the tearful reunions, cameras flashed, and hugs and kisses were plentiful. It was a moment the soldiers and their families will never forget.

"Looking at the smiles on everyone's faces, it just warms your heart," said Stanley.

Since these soldiers served nine months overseas, they will have at least the same amount of time at home. There is a chance the soldiers' could be deployed again, but Fort Campbell officials said it was too soon to know when, or for how long.

Email: eluxen@newschannel5.com
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