The holidays are a time for family togetherness, and that is exactly what several military families will get to enjoy this Christmas, as more troops come home from Iraq to be with their families this holiday season.
Among those who came home – and were greeted by their respective families – was Staff Sgt. Elama Palemene. The Associated Press shared his homecoming, as well as those of his fellow troop members, publishing a photo of the soldier kissing his two daughters and his wife. Palemene returned to Fort Hood early Sunday, and his family greeted him with a sign that read “Sgt. Palamene, Your Tour Stops Here.”
Palamene said: “It feels good to be home safe and sound, but we should remember that there are still soldiers in Afghanistan.”
The returning soldiers belonged to the 2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division. They expressed gladness about being able to come home for the holidays, and relief that they are out of Iraq. Staff Sgt. James Cantrell shared: “This was my fourth deployment to Iraq… so it feels great to be home.” Cantrell was met by his wife, Brenda, and their 7-year old daughter Janelle.
Spc. Keenan McCoy, who was met by his wife Rachel and 13-month-old daughter Kyrie, on the other hand, shared: “I think it’s good we’re out of Iraq. I think they’re ready – the government and the military.”
Around three hundred soldiers arrived at Fort Hood at around 3 in the morning on Sunday. Despite the early hour, however, and the rather chilly weather, a crowd of flag-waving and teary wives and military children gathered to greet the returning troops.
It certainly is great to be home.