Saturday, May 17, 2008

Grigsby, 250 Troops Arrive at Lawson

Grigsby, 250 troops arrive at Lawson
Entire brigade should be home by month's end


Hammer Six is home.

And so are more than 250 of his fellow 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team soldiers.

Brigade Commander Col. Wayne W. Grigsby Jr., known to the troops as Hammer Six, and Command Sgt. Maj. James Pearson, were among those who arrived at Fort Benning's Lawson Army Airfield Friday night, concluding a 15-month deployment.

"We're happy to be back," Grigsby said on the airport tarmac. "I love Fort Benning."

He and Pearson were the first off the plane, which left Kuwait earlier in the day.

Hundreds of family members waited inside Freedom Hall, the airport terminal, to greet the soldiers. Also waiting were several brigade soldiers who arrived back at Fort Benning earlier in the week.

"It's so good to see all those smiling faces," said Grace Wilson, who watched on a huge TV screen as the soldiers, still carrying their weapons, debarked the plane. She had come to welcome home her nephew, a member of the 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment.

Soldiers first had to clear customs, turn in their equipment, in-process and hear a safety message before finally reuniting with loved ones and friends. That wait usually lasts about two hours.

Grigsby said several more flights will be leaving Kuwait over the next week. The entire brigade -- 3,800 soldiers -- should be home by month's end.

Maj. Gen. Walt Wojdakowski, the post commander, was on hand to welcome the brigade soldiers home.

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