Raiders receive warm welcome on chilly morning
December 8, 2010
<b>FORT STEWART, Ga.</b> - Despite early morning temperatures that had dropped to approximately 30 degrees Dec. 2, about 1,000 Family, friends, and well wishers gathered at Cottrell Field to welcome home approximately 350 Soldiers with the 1st Brigade Combat Team on Fort Stewart.
With a loud and hearty welcome that was slow to die down, the crowds provided a warming welcome on the chilly morning. Shortly after the Soldier's arrival, Third Infantry Division Rear Detachment Chaplain (Col.) William Ralston said a prayer of thanks for bringing the Soldiers home safely - answering the prayers of loved ones in attendance. The prayer was met with a resounding "Amen" by attendees.
Third Infantry Division Commander, Maj. Gen. Tony Cucolo, greeted the returning heroes and thanked them for a job well done. He said he appreciated how they were able to accomplish so much, with just one brigade, helping stabilize a turbulent area, providing training to Iraqi Soldiers and security forces, while supporting communities.
Edging closer and closer to the formation, Family Members reduced the gap between themselves and their Soldiers, leaping into waiting arms at the close of the Marne Song and Army Song.
Aside from being a warm welcome, the ceremony also provided an opportunity to help entertain and educate attendees about available programs.
Between musical numbers presented by the 3rd Infantry Division Band, representatives from the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation and Army Community Services offered information that could help returning Soldiers and Family Members re-adjust.
Among the briefers, ACS Deployment Readiness Specialist, Chester 'Beau' Bradley, let Family Members know about programs, such as the Military Family Life Counselors, located in building 507 B.
The MFLCs are licensed clinical counselors who provide short term, situational, problem-solving counseling to Soldiers and their Families. Their services can be provided to individuals, couples, Families, and groups. The counselors can also conduct sessions on and off military installations. Contact numbers for each respective brigade combat teams are 912- 318-9284 or 912-856-6202 for 1st HBCT; 912-318-9281 or 912-536-7854 for 2nd HBCT; 912-318-9282 or 912-492-6428 for 3rd Sustainment Brigade: and 912-318-9283 or 912-432-00134 for 4th IBCT. For units not mentioned, individuals can contact ACS at 912-767-5058.