• Family members cheer and hold up handmade signs as the Soldiers of 4th BCT, 1st Cav. arrive at Cooper Field Aug. 17 after a year-long deployment to Iraq.

    Family members cheer and hold up handmade signs...

    Family members cheer and hold up handmade signs as the Soldiers of 4th BCT, 1st Cav. arrive at Cooper Field Aug. 17 after a year-long deployment to Iraq.

  • Spc. Christopher Brademeyer, from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, hugs his daughters after returning from a year-long deployment to Iraq Aug. 17. A welcome-home ceremony was held for the Soldiers at Cooper Field.

    Spc. Christopher Brademeyer, from Headquarters...

    Spc. Christopher Brademeyer, from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, hugs his daughters after returning from a year-long deployment to Iraq Aug. 17. A welcome-home...

  • Maj. Ernesto Lopez, from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, poses with his family after being reunited with them at the welcome-home ceremony held at Cooper Field Aug. 17.

    Maj. Ernesto Lopez, from Headquarters and...

    Maj. Ernesto Lopez, from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, poses with his family after being reunited with them at the welcome-home ceremony held at Cooper Field Aug. 17.

FORT HOOD, Texas -- A contingent of Soldiers assigned to the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division returned from Iraq to "The Great Place" Aug. 17.

The Soldiers' return concluded in a brief, but highly emotional, ceremony held at Cooper Field to welcome them home. This is the first group of many to return from Iraq as the Long Knife Brigade begins the process of bringing their troops home from a year-long deployment to Mosul, Iraq.

Upon their arrival at Cooper Field, the Soldiers marched across the field and stood in formation as their families and friends watched from the stands. Lt. Col. Hope Rampy, 1st Cavalry Division Rear Detachment Chief of Staff, gave a short speech to formally welcome the Soldiers home and congratulate them on their efforts in support of Operation New Dawn.

"I know you're excited to be home, sleep in a real bed, and perhaps have a drink or two, but take it easy," said Rampy. She reminded the Soldiers and their chain of command to be safe because it would be a tragedy to lose someone now that they are finally home due to an accident or incident. Rampy concluded by counting down from three to one and letting the eagerly waiting families charge onto the field to greet their Soldiers.

Maj. Rich Thompson stood in the center of the field smiling at his six-month-old daughter that he held in his arms. The last time he saw her, she was only a few weeks old, he said.

Sgt. Randolph McAfee, from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, said he was most looking forward to good food, a nice bed, a hot shower, and time with his family. His plans for the 4-day pass the Soldiers received were to get some good sleep and catch up on things missed.

Families came from all over to be with their Soldiers as they returned. Terri Favela and her husband Juan came from El Paso, TX, to greet their son, Master Sgt. Ronald Favela.

"We are very proud of our son and the troops and all they do, but I wish these wars would end and all the troops would come back," said Favela.

Page last updated Mon August 22nd, 2011 at 00:00