Posted 10:34 PM 11/12/2012 : The wait is over for hundreds of military families
FORT CARSON - In the moments just before their dad marched into the Special Events Center Friday night, sisters Kylei and Elissa Giles said the waiting is the hardest part.
"It's really exciting and I'm kind of nervous because it's like I'm seeing him for the first time again in nine months," Kylei said.
Nearby, Kasey O'Dell had been counting the days since her boyfriend, SPC Samuel Bryan deployed.
"It's had it's ups and downs for sure, it's been a long wait," O'Dell said. "I've been waiting for this day since day one."
And just when the anticipation seems too much to bear, the smoke machine kicks on to the first few bars of Toby Keith's Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue roar over the loudspeakers. The room erupts in cheers and screams.
For some, like Kylei and Elissa's dad SFC David Giles it's a return to family. "I don't have words," he said. "Just happy."
For others, like SPC Bryan, it's a return to new relationships. "It's about time, that's all I can say," Bryan said.
And for some, it's even a return to a little romance. Kayla Golden was thrilled that her husband SSG Christopher Golden brought her a print out of a bouquet of flowers because the real thing wouldn't fit in his rucksack. "He's the sweetest husband ever, he really is," Golden said.
This is the second group of soldiers with the 4th BCT to return home. Since deploying, the brigade members has worked to train security forces in the rugged mountainous areas of Eastern Afghanistan.
The soldiers formed partnerships with tribal leaders in the provinces of Nangarhar, Nuristan, Kunar, and Laghman. Altogether the area spanned a distance of approximately 10,000 square miles, roughly the size of the state of Maryland.
More homecomings are expected in the coming days.