All 3,800 Troops Almost Home

By: Rosie Barresi Email
By: Rosie Barresi Email
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280 Fort Carson Soldiers finally came home on Sunday night after being deployed for more than 15-months in support of Operation Iraq Freedom.

All of the brave men and women are with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division.

There are a total of 3,800 soldiers in that unit and on Monday another 360 troops are expected to arrive. According to Fort Carson officials, after Monday's homecoming there will be two more over the next few days. Those next two will bring back the rest of the 500 or so troops who are in the 3rd BCT, 4th ID.

On Sunday, hundreds of family members and friends showed up to greet their heroes. "Tears just come to my eyes along with the butterflies like when me and my husband first fell in love," said Staff Sgt. Raymond Quintana's wife.

It was Staff Sgt. Quintana's fourth tour of duty. "It's a rush, it's excitement, anticipation, waited 15-long months to come home to the family," said Staff Sgt. Quintana.

"This is actually one of the best homecomings being gone 15-months," said Sgt. 1st Class Julian Whatley, who just returned from Iraq. It was Sgt. 1st Class Whatley's second tour of duty.

Many say it takes a special kind of family to push through. "You become a very strong woman. It's helped me become the woman I need to be to be a military wife," said Staff Sgt. Raymond Quintana's wife.

Every military wife, husband and soldier left the gymnasium reading a big sign that hung overhead that said, 'Thank you for a job well done.'

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