Ochlocknee- Forty three hundred south Georgia soldiers are on their way home after a year of fighting in Iraq. The first wave of troops left Iraq Sunday afternoon.
The first Georgia National Guard Soldiers will be back in Georgia Wednesday night and local families are preparing to welcome them home in style. This week couldn't come fast enough for Carol Lawson.
"I've been sitting here watching television making bows. I started just a couple of days ago, they go pretty fast," said Carol Lawson, a National Guard wife.
Not as fast as the past 21 months. Lawson and her husband Sgt. Robin Lawson, think the days have gone slow, but the months have flown by. She's got butterflies knowing he'll be here Thursday.
"I haven't seen him in six months and I guess just the excitement of it all and he'll be home for good this time," said Lawson.
It's been a struggle for many like Lawson, dealing with bills, family pressure, kids, and daily problems.
"Yesterday I broke a, I lost a contact down the sink so I went to take the pipe off under the sink to get my contact out and the pipe broke, and you know Robin could fix that, I had to call a plumber," said Lawson.
The majority of the Georgia National Guard left Iraq Sunday. Carol wants her husband's homecoming to be an honor.
"We're planning on lining the street we got permission from the city the other day, we're going to line the street. My neighbors have made a banner so we've got a lot of stuff planned so the minute we pull on our street he'll know he was missed," said Lawson.
Her husband is anxious to get back to Ochlocknee.
"He said, I just want to go home. He's been away from home with training and actual time in Iraq 21 months. He just wants to come home and he's anxious to get his life back to normal," said Lawson.
So he can continue his service, protecting this community as a Thomas County firefighter.
Once soldiers arrive at Ft. Stewart it will be at least five days until they are debriefed and released. A majority of the 48th Brigade is expected back in Georgia by May sixth.