3rd Infantry units return home - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

3rd Infantry units return home

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June 3, 2003

Hinesville, Ga.-- The 3rd Infantry Division led the charge into Iraq through Kuwait, and they were the first troops to make it into Baghdad, facing fierce fighting on the way.

Most of the men returning were in some of those battles. Thankful family members are at Fort Stewart to say 'welcome home' to their loved ones, and they know how lucky they are that their sons and daughters are returning home safely.

"I feel guilty for those mothers and fathers and wives that won't see their sons," says Lynette Coleman, whose son is returning. "I'm thankful to God that we get to see ours."

"This will be that greatest joy of my life," said mother Jenny Dilorenzo. "I prayed for him day and night, and it just means everything to me. I'm really excited to see him."

The first wave of troops was supposed by arrive about 6:30, but they are running about two hours late, because of weather delays. The troops will first stop at Hunter Army Airfield before arriving at Fort Stewart to unload and account for all their weapons and equipment.

The soldiers will also undergo a Gulf War Syndrome test. They will answer questions about what pesticides or other contaminants they may have been exposed to, including smoke from burning oil wells.

Most of the 3rd I.D. soldiers are still in Iraq, but some will be home soon. Most of the soldiers coming home tonight spent six months in Kuwait last year. They came home for just a few months before being re deployed around the first of this year.

posted at 6:15PM by dave.miller@walb.com