Region 8 Guardsmen to Return Home Today After Seven-Month Hitch in Iraq

NOVEMBER 10, 2004 - Posted at 4:03 p.m. CST, updated at 7:50 a.m. on 11/11/04

CAMP ROBINSON, AR - Many of the soldiers of the Arkansas Army National Guard's 39th Infantry Brigade who returned from Iraq to Fort Hood, Texas, last Saturday are scheduled to return to Region 8 early this evening, which, ironically enough, happens to be Veteran's Day.

Buses scheduled to depart Fort Hood around 6 a.m. today will make stops at the National Guard Readiness Center in Hope, and at Camp Robinson in North Little Rock before reaching their final destination at the Guard Readiness Center in Searcy.

While some soldiers will leave Texas in their personal vehicles, about 100 of the 240 returnees will be on the buses bound for home.  Only a small handful of soldiers will disembark in Hope and North Little Rock, as the majority of the troops will reunite with family members in Searcy around 5 p.m.

The returning soldiers are part of the nearly 3,000 Arkansas National Guardsmen mobilized in October 2003 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.  They previously served on a 10-month Sinai Peninsula peace-keeping mission in Egypt in 2002 and have reached their limit of 24 months of active duty service within a five-year period.