Nearly 300 soldiers with the 1st BCT are back in Southern Colorado after a thunderstorm caused a slight delay. Entering through the gates of Manhart Field, hundreds of soldiers marched in formation, just waiting to be embraced by those they love.
"(Being Home is) just an overwhelming feeling, just glad to be home, proud to serve my country...actually that's it," CPL Reginald Dickson said.
"Words can't describe it, I’m proud, I'm excited, I'm just bubbling over. I'm excited, I'm really proud of all of them, it's just really wonderful that they're all home," mother Debra Dickson said.
While overseas, these servicemen and women helped bring basic services to the Afghan people, rebuilding the country’s infrastructure and strengthening governmental operations. They also completed several major road improvement projects.
Saturday’s ceremony was outside because Jay Leno held a special performance for military families in the Special Events Center. Although rain fell through most of the afternoon, the weather held out long enough to give these soldiers a much deserved welcome home.
"It's my third time but it has the same effect every time," SGT Robert White said with tears in his eyes.
"Can you even describe how proud you are of him right now? I can't even, he's my hero, that's all I can say," wife Lori White said.
So about 300 soldiers returned Saturday, another wave is expected tomorrow. In all, about 500 1st BCT soldiers will return this weekend alone. These two groups are the last members of the brigade to redeploy as large units.