Georgia troops return to Ft. Stewart - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Georgia troops return to Ft. Stewart

Sgt. Arthur Joseph Sgt. Arthur Joseph
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Mr. and Mrs. Joseph
The McGoughs The McGoughs
Mrs. McGough Mrs. McGough
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July 30, 2003

Hinesville, Ga.-- After seven months in the desert in front of enemy lines, more Georgia soldiers are back, safe and sound. The welcome home ceremonies are always emotional for the soldiers as well as the families.

"My daughter Amaris, May daughter Shatara, Amahsie, and Alicia..." Latangi Joseph of Fitzgerald has four girls. "And there's never a dull moment," she exclaimed.

She has eight-year-old twins, a five, and a six-year-old. Their dad is Sergeant Arthur Joseph. "I'm going on vacation," says Latangi. "I've had the kids for seven months, and it's his turn..."

There's also never a dull moment at the McGough’ s home in Sylvester. "I'm just very, very, proud of them," said Debbie McGough, who is the mother of three sons. PFC James McGough is coming home today. "My other son, John, is still over in Iraq," says Debbie.

The McGough brothers were sent overseas at separate times, and bumped in to each once.

Shouts of joy went up through the crowd as white buses rolled onto the base. Two-hundred-sixty soldiers of the 3rd Infantry Division came marching across the parade grounds. Each step bringing them closer to their families, and finally they were released.

The Sylvester family expresses happiness with hugs. The Fitzgerald group was more vocal.

And as for that vacation, Arthur Joseph says, "I'm going on vacation first!"

Nearly 630 third infantry soldiers have returned to fort Stewart in the past 24 hours. Three-hundred more are expected between tonight and tomorrow.

posted at 9:50 PM by dave.miller@walb.com