Family and friends welcome home 1st Cav. Sustainment Brigade

KCEN Military Reporter Jillian Angeline attended the homecoming of the wagonmasters after a long nine-month deployment.

FORT HOOD - Family, friends, and loved ones of the 1st Cavalry Sustainment Brigade gathered at Cooper Field Monday morning to welcome home their heroes in uniform. 

More than 200 soldiers made their return from the nine-month deployment to Afghanistan. 

"Move that bus," the crowd chanted as they awaited the opportunity to see their heroes walk across Cooper Field in formation. 

The uncasing of the colors was completed, which gave the families the cue to make a dead sprint to their soldier.

As expected, there were many hugs, kisses, and tears of joy exchanged amongst the soldiers and their families. 

"Hey girl, how are you," one soldier said to his infant daughter as he picked her up for a hug. 

There were countless heartwarming embraces.

"There's nothing like this in the world, nothing at all," Col. Chris Colavita said.  Col. Colavita is the Commander of the 1st Cavalry Division Sustainment Brigade.  His son would not leave his shoulders during the homecoming.

"Feels great, I'm really happy," said a happy family member who giggled in utter joy.

But while the brigades return brings smiles to many faces, there is still an underlying tone of tragedy that hit this unit while overseas. 

Three soldiers in the sustainment brigade were killed and others were injured in a suicide bombing that made headlines on Bagram Airfield on November 12, 2016. The losses remain fresh in the minds of the Wagonmasters. 

"I don't wish it on anyone.  It's hard...very hard," Spc. Maggie Bilyeu said. 

Bilyeu is one of four wounded soldiers who fought back to recover from injuries of the blast. 

It was an emotional experience for the four wounded soldiers to be reunited with their team.

"It's a beautiful experience.  After all, these people have been through so much especially after the incident things changed so quickly.  It was really hard for them to adapt to it at first, but now they're home.  They're with families, they're with their loved ones.  And it's just absolutely beautiful to see.  They deserve this," Spc. Robert Healy said.  

 

© 2017 KCEN-TV


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