Story and Photo by
Staff Sgt. Amber Robinson
3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division
WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD — Soldiers from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, have begun their redeployment after completing a yearlong deployment to the eastern region of Afghanistan.
Troops from the “Bronco Bde.” started to arrive in January and continue to return home.
Maj. Gen. Bernard Champoux, commander, 25th ID; key members of the division staff; and members of the brigade’s rear detachment greeted returning Soldiers.
“We want to make sure our Soldiers get what they need when they get home,” said Maj. Mike Corley, commander, rear detachment, 3rd BCT. “We take care of all the standard things like transportation, barracks and household goods, but the most important piece is the reintegration with family and the community.
“They are coming from a year of long days and lots of hypervigilance to the more relaxed environment of garrison and Hawaii,” Corley added. “They will need the time to adjust, and we understand that.”
Returning Soldiers said they are grateful to be home and ready to get out and start to actively enjoy the island.
“I’m ready to just relax and spend some time with my daughter,” said Sgt. Michael Perna, 3rd Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd BCT. “I just want to take her to the park and us just chill out and have a good time.”
“I just want to spend some quality time with my wife and kids,” said Sgt. Johnny Lunn, 3rd Bn., 7th FA Regt., 3rd BCT. “It’s time to finally enjoy the little moments.”
Each returning formation of Soldiers are marching into their welcome home ceremonies to the “Rocky,” theme song, but the best sound they said they are hearing are the cheers of eager family members and friends.
“I’ve been to every one of these welcome home ceremonies,” Corley said, “and every time I see those Soldiers walk in to the cheers of their loved ones, it gives me chills.
“This (welcome home ceremony) is well deserved, and we are glad to have them home,” Corley added.