900 Soldiers return home - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

900 Soldiers return home

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July 6, 2003

Fort Stewart - Jacob Van Duynhoven's dad Tony is part of the 3rd Infantry Corps Support Group. He has been away at war for the past eight months, but Tony, and about 900 of his closest friends, are finally coming home.

Jacob and mom Chastity say today is a great day. "I'm just so excited," says Chastity. "I'm just thankful he's coming home safe and I'm proud of everything he's done for his country."

Chastity says the past eight months have been difficult, but have made her very proud of her husband and her country. "Once everything started getting underway, and they had such success, I was just so proud. I've never been so proud in my life to be an American," said Chastity.

As the troops inched closer to base, friends and family members crowded into the gym for their arrival. The buses reached the base and some of the troops just couldn't wait any longer to see their loved ones, so they ran to them.

From the sandy dunes of the desert to the hard woods of the gym, the men and women receive their final orders before being released, but Chastity just couldn't wait any longer to see her husband. She scans the sea of soldiers, spots Tony, and runs out onto the floor to him.

"You can't describe it," says Tony. "It's a great feeling, it's a really good feeling."

Chastity says, "It's the best feeling in the world. It's almost better than when we got married."

Tony will be attending flight school soon where he will train to become a Black Hawk pilot. But for now...he wants to spend some time with his family.

"I want to go to Disney World, do something nice.  Yeah, I want to go on vacation."

A vacation well deserved.

posted at 6:43 PM by karen.collier@walb.com