Fort Carson Commander Says, "Mission Accomplished"

By: Rosie Barresi Email
By: Rosie Barresi Email

Another 310 Fort Carson Soldiers are finally back on American soil.

There are only around 250 3RD Brigade Combat Team, 4TH Infantry Division troops left to return.

Many families say Tuesday's homecoming was extra special because this particular deployment lasted 15-months. Past deployments have only been around 12-months. Families say those extra three months felt like an eternity. "It's a feeling you can't describe. These ceremonies are awesome," said Kathleen Visaya, whose husband just returned home from Iraq.

Family members were there to capture every moment. "I've got our video camera and my father in law is taking pictures and my kids are yelling." said Deni Johnson, whose husband just returned home from Iraq.

The ceremony only lasted a few minutes, but before the brave men and women all lined up in perfect formation and allowed to reunite with their families, the un-casing of the battalion colors was performed. The unit's flags are un-cased only at the end of a deployment once their mission is complete.

Once soldiers were set free many soldiers say good food is all they could think about. "We're going to go out to eat. I'm going to get some good American food in me," said Spc. Michael Brown who is with the 3RD Brigade Combat Team, 4TH Infantry.

"We're just excited to be home and be with our families after accomplishing a successful mission," said Lt. Col. Chris Johnson who is with the 3RD Brigade Combat Team, 4TH Infantry.

The group's Commander says they've brought more peace to Sauder City, Baghdad where they were stationed. "You can walk down the streets today, you couldn't do that last year," said Cmdr. John Hort who is with the 3RD Brigade Combat Team, 4TH Infantry. Cmdr. Hort says 700 enemies were killed during their mission and says Iraq's Government is finally in control of Sauder City, Baghdad.

Cmdr. Hort, who was so excited to be back, came up with a very creative way of describing this homecoming. "It's like Santa Claus, Valentine's Day and the Super Bowl all wrapped up in one," said Cmdr. Hort.

All 3,800 soldiers are off for the next 30 days and then it's off to more training closer to the summer months. "I plan on going to Mexico and then maybe the Final Four if my team gets there," said Cmdr. Hort.

But, Cmdr. Hort. says first the next 15 days will be focusing on integrating the soldiers back into their communities and on taking care of their mental health.


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