There's a lot of catching up going on in southern Colorado. Almost 350 Fort Carson soldiers returned from a nine-month deployment Monday afternoon.
Nine months of waiting ends with a puff of smoke and rows of soldiers marching in formation before a cheering crowd.
The real reunions begin immediately after a short wait before the soldiers are dismissed. Monday’s homecoming was a special one for SSG William Mikschl, who thought it would be a good day to propose to his girlfriend.
"I had it planned pretty much since I left," Mikschl said.
His girlfriend is now his fiancée. Amanda Kleinhans says having William home and a wedding to look forward to is a win-win.
"I always wished we'd get engaged or married because he's so wonderful,” she said. “I had no idea it would happen like this. It was perfect."
The first of two homecomings in the same day at Fort Carson filled the Special Event Center with about 250 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team soldiers back from Kuwait.
The second wave, from Afghanistan, was a smaller group of 62nd Engineer Company soldiers. They were no less excited to see their loved ones standing by to greet them.
“You want to instinctively go to them,” said SPC Christopher Chacon. “It's a great feeling to come home and know all the support we have."
The next step for those in uniform home now safe and sound is catching up with those they've missed so much.
Fort Carson will welcome home about 400 more 1ABCT soldiers Tuesday. They’re expected to arrive at about 4:30 p.m.