Fort Carson troops are coming home in droves. Within 12 hours, more than 1,000 soldiers from the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment marched in the gym doors at the Mountain Post. They were deployed for almost a year. The first homecoming started off early, around one o’clock this morning.
But for the Woods family, these homecomings are bittersweet. A son, husband and father, Private First Class Eric Woods won’t be walking through the gymnasium doors. “He was trying to rescue a wounded soldiers when an IED went off,” said Jamie Woods, Eric’s wife.
PFC Woods was an army medic and would be in the line of fire quite often. He saved several lives, including Sergeant Jeremy Wolfsteller’s, just two weeks before he was killed in July. “I would like to thank the two soldiers that helped me, but they were killed and I took it really hard. Since then, SGT Wolfsteller has befriended Eric’s mom and wife.
Eric’s family drove from the Midwest to attend every single homecoming at Fort Carson so they can welcome back all of Eric’s fellow soldiers. “When I hug them, I feel like I’m hugging a piece of Eric,” Jan Woods said, Eric’s mother.
His family says Eric’s brave heart gives them the strength to go to Fort Carson and continue his legacy. They believe that even though he’s not here on Earth, he is already home.
The majority of the 5,200 3rd ACR soldiers are now home. In the next two weeks, the remaining 1,000 troops return.