Festivities and fun on tap at York Field - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Festivities and fun on tap at York Field

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March 24, 2006

Ft. Benning -- Words like pride, courage, thank you, and welcome, are being used to salute the troops. With military music filling the fair, hundreds of 3rd Infantry Divisdon soldiers marched across York Field.

"The soldiers are very appreciative to have the community come out and support them this way. It really means a lot after we spent a year in Iraq," said Albany Major Robert Ashe.

Governor Sonny Perdue said Georgia can be proud of her soldiers. "Our pride in you and the pride you can take in your service is even stronger. We see that the determination to do your best has been fulfilled, and we know that your courage stands," the governor said to the troops.

It's a fitting tribute to those who served, and those who gave their lives. "We're recognizing our fallen comrades," said Staff Sergeant Raymond Mason. "You know we lost quite a few soldiers over there, and it's great to have the community backing up the troops, and their fallen comrades."

It's also a chance to honor the families of men who made the ultimate sacrifice. Soldier's son Randall Wilson said, "I had to wash clothes, and clean the house, and make sure things were taken care of around the house. It was hard."

For most soldiers, the thanks are unnecessary, and they're just happy to be home. "All the time, you think about being home, it's like a year everyday" said Sergeant James Callens.

Many of the troops arrived weeks ago, but are just getting a chance to be officially welcomed. Some of them may have to do a third tour in Iraq.

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