FORT DRUM, N.Y. (WWNY) - Families of 250 Fort Drum soldiers anticipated this day for 9 months.
“People ask, ‘Did it go fast?’ Obviously, it did not. It felt like years,” said Calvin Giddens, a 10 year old who was reunited with his dad.
Members of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team were welcomed back on Fort Drum Monday.
In the crowd was Abigail Mason and her newborn daughter, Carys, holding a sign that read “I’ve waited my whole life to meet you.”
Mason’s husband, Taylor, got to meet his daughter for the first time.
“Seeing her in real life is incredible. She’s real and she’s mine,” said Captain Taylor Mason.
10th Mountain Division soldiers were stationed across southern Afghanistan. Some units were also sent to Kosovo.
The 2,000 were deployed in the fall. They’ll return throughout the month.
Flight commander Captain Adam McMurray says the mission helped strengthen relationships with allies.
“Doing mainly defensive positions, working for our allied partners, making sure they are set on their missions, supporting and enabling them,” he said.
As soldiers and their families celebrate a hard-fought 9 months, they say the feeling of reuniting is tough to put into words.
“It’s indescribable. I’m proud, relieved. I can breathe again. Just glad to have him back home,” said Janet Meacham, who was reunited with her son.
There are 7 more flight returns through the middle of next week.