Hearts warmed on cool Texas afternoon
November 19, 2007
FORT HOOD, Texas - On a cool, crisp Central Texas afternoon, three big white buses pulled up to Cooper Field, stopping in the middle and driving the crowd gathered at the field crazy.
The crowd, who was up until this point talking amongst themselves and waiting patiently, jumped to their feet, cheering and yelling, "Move that bus!"
After a few moments, the buses pulled away leaving behind their passengers - more than 100 Soldiers from the 2nd and 3rd Brigade Combat Teams of the 1st Cavalry Division, whom have just returned home Nov. 15 after serving 15 months in Iraq.
The Soldiers marched across the field, and after a few short remarks from Col. Larry Phelps, the commander of the 1st Cavalry Division's rear detachment, the Soldiers were released to their friends and families, who were waiting in the crowd.
One family member, Capt. Hwajin Hurt, a Taegu, South Korea, native with the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, III Corps, waited patiently with her 5-month-old daughter, Kayla. She waited for her husband, Capt. Donnie Joe Hurt, a Oceana, W. Va., native and the assistant operations officer for the 2nd "Black Jack" Brigade, to return.
Hurt, who was deployed for 14 months with Black Jack, was home on leave when Kayla was born, but he was only able to spend one short week with her and his wife before he had to return to Iraq.
His wife said that she was constantly sending pictures of their daughter, and that he was looking forward to coming home to spend time with his family.
"Every time I told him she's doing something new, he said, 'I need to hurry home,'" she said smiling.
The proud father said that they both plan to take leave together over the holidays, giving him the opportunity to spend time with his family and to really get to know his daughter Kayla.