GULFPORT, MS (KAIT) – Some of our own Region 8 soldiers are now back on American soil in Gulfport, Mississippi!
Soldiers with the 875th Engineer Battalion's 1037th Route Clearance Company will spend five days in Gulfport for debriefing before heading home, and are expected to be in Jonesboro this coming Friday. In Gulfport, the soldiers will also go through medical screenings and turn in their weapons.
"It's truly heart warming it is to see those soldiers step off the plane," said Adjuntant General William Wofford.
A warm welcome and overwhelming pride.
"I gave a lot of hugs and was over excited to see these guys and i'm sure they're excited about getting home," said Major Timothy Norman of the 875th Engineer Battalion.
For the soldiers, this type of display can be overwhelming.
"Seeing everybody out there and there to greet us, you know, those people were there for us. It was kind of good to have that," said Specialist Corey Brasfield.
"Once you step off the plane on American soil you know that you're home," said Norman.
Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin and other leaders from Region 8 were on hand to greet the returning heroes.
"It was very emotional for me and I think it was for them too," said Perrin.
"It just made me feel respected," said Brasfield.
Wofford said respect doesn't even cover it. These men have given of themselves for the past year for love of their country.
"It's great for those of us who have been responsible for training them and preparing them for deployment seeing them off to war and then getting to greet them when they come back," said Wofford.
When soldiers finally come home to Jonesboro, friends and area residents are encouraged to line Caraway Road on Friday morning to as they make their way to the Arkansas State University campus to reunite with their families. An exact time to line up will be released later.