• Lt. Col. Carmine Cicalese, with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Division Special Troops Battalion, takes in his daughters face for the first time in 15 months during the homecoming ceremony held Dec. 20 on Cooper Field.

    Lt. Col. Carmine Cicalese, with Headquarters...

    Lt. Col. Carmine Cicalese, with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Division Special Troops Battalion, takes in his daughters face for the first time in 15 months during the homecoming ceremony held Dec. 20 on Cooper Field.

  • Hundreds of 1st Cavalry Division families stand with signs and balloons waiting for their Soldiers to come across Cooper Field at the 1st Cavalry Division headquarters Dec. 20. The Soldiers of the Division Special Troops Battalion and 1st Air Cavalry Brigade are returning to Fort Hood after a 15-month deployment to Iraq.

    Hundreds of 1st Cavalry Division families stand...

    Hundreds of 1st Cavalry Division families stand with signs and balloons waiting for their Soldiers to come across Cooper Field at the 1st Cavalry Division headquarters Dec. 20. The Soldiers of the Division Special Troops Battalion and 1st Air Cavalry...

  • Capt. Braden Camp, with 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, hold a sign that was given to him during a homecoming ceremony in front of 1st Cavalry Division headquarters building on Cooper Field. Camp is one of more than 200 Soldiers who arrived home from Iraq Dec. 20.

    Capt. Braden Camp, with 1st Air Cavalry...

    Capt. Braden Camp, with 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, hold a sign that was given to him during a homecoming ceremony in front of 1st Cavalry Division headquarters building on Cooper Field. Camp is one of more than 200 Soldiers who arrived home from Iraq...

  • Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jesse Greenberg, a Soldier with Company B, 2nd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade hugs his wife, Olga, following the homecoming ceremony held Dec. 21 at Cooper Field.

    Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jesse Greenberg, a...

    Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jesse Greenberg, a Soldier with Company B, 2nd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade hugs his wife, Olga, following the homecoming ceremony held Dec. 21 at Cooper Field.

  • Chief Warrant Officer 2 Derek Hudson, of Co. B, 2nd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, kisses his 8-month-old daughter, Allora, who he hasn’t seen since she was 15-days-old, after the homecoming ceremony held Dec. 21 at Cooper Field on Fort Hood.

    Chief Warrant Officer 2 Derek Hudson, of Co. B...

    Chief Warrant Officer 2 Derek Hudson, of Co. B, 2nd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, kisses his 8-month-old daughter, Allora, who he hasn’t seen since she was 15-days-old, after the homecoming ceremony held Dec. 21 at Cooper Field on Fort Hood.

  • Traverse City, Mich., native Col. Daniel Shanahan, the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade commander, hugs his wife, Mindy, and reaches out for his oldest son, Patrick during the homecoming ceremony held Dec. 21 at 1st Cavalry Division headquarters. Shanahan was one of more than 200 Soldiers in the ceremony who just returned from Iraq.

    Traverse City, Mich., native Col. Daniel...

    Traverse City, Mich., native Col. Daniel Shanahan, the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade commander, hugs his wife, Mindy, and reaches out for his oldest son, Patrick during the homecoming ceremony held Dec. 21 at 1st Cavalry Division headquarters. Shanahan was...

FORT HOOD, Texas - Christmas is almost upon the 1st Cavalry Division and thousands of military families are wishing one special Christmas wish - to have their Soldier home from Iraq for the holidays.

The flights and ceremonies are stacking up, families are getting calls that there Soldiers are on the way, and before Christmas is over, several hundred more Soldiers will be home with their families.

One particular Soldier who will be spending Christmas with his wife, Wendy, and their two daughters, is Maj. Gen. Joseph F. Fil Jr., the commanding general of the 1st Cavalry Division, who arrived home Dec. 20 and spoke to the troopers and families during the homecoming ceremony.

Fil, who hails from Portola Valley, Calif., said "It has been a long 15 months and I am very proud of all the hard work you have done. It is wonderful to see all you again."

Following a 15-month tour in Iraq as the Multi-National Division - Baghdad commander, Fil is proud of all the First Team has done and continues to do in Iraq.

Another family that will have their Soldier home for the holidays is the Montgomery family.

"Aaron is the third of our five children, said Sgt. 1st Class Stephen Montgomery, of the 20th Special Forces Group, which is based out of Louisville, Ky.

"I have been to Iraq once and Afghanistan twice, so being able to share and understand each other's experiences is something that will be special between the two of us. It will also be a big part of his readjustment process. Being able to talk to someone and know that they understand what you have experienced is a very important. But the one thing I want to say right now is 'Welcome Home,'" Montgomery said.

Before releasing the families to go find their loved ones in the crowd of more than 200 Soldiers, Fil told the families why he is so very proud of all the 1st Cavalry Division Soldiers.

"This is now two tours to Iraq that the 1st Cavalry Division has completed," said Fil, "and I strongly believe that the progress that we have placed in motion will continue long after we have left, and that Iraq will never go back to the way it was before we arrived because of the work all of you have done."

Page last updated Thu December 27th, 2007 at 11:49