• Spc. Calandra Bishop hugs her daughter after arriving back at Robinson Maneuver Training Center in North Little Rock, Ark., following a nine-month mobilization in support of Operation New Dawn with the headquarters unit of the 77th Theater Aviation Brigade.

    Mom hugs daughter

    Spc. Calandra Bishop hugs her daughter after arriving back at Robinson Maneuver Training Center in North Little Rock, Ark., following a nine-month mobilization in support of Operation New Dawn with the headquarters unit of the 77th Theater Aviation...

  • A young Soldier with the headquarters unit of the 77th Theater Aviation Brigade is welcomed home following a nine-month mobilization in support of Operation New Dawn.

    Dad hugs daughter

    A young Soldier with the headquarters unit of the 77th Theater Aviation Brigade is welcomed home following a nine-month mobilization in support of Operation New Dawn.

  • Jacinda Freeland is happy that her husband Sgt. Justin Freeland is home after his deployment to Iraq with the headquarters unit of the 77th Theater Aviation Brigade.

    Husband hugs wife

    Jacinda Freeland is happy that her husband Sgt. Justin Freeland is home after his deployment to Iraq with the headquarters unit of the 77th Theater Aviation Brigade.

CAMP ROBINSON MANEUVER TRAINING CENTER, Ark. (Army News Service, Nov. 28, 2011) -- Two units of the Arkansas National Guard returned home just in time for Thanksgiving dinner with their families.

Most of the 77th Theater Aviation Brigade Headquarters returned home the morning before Thanksgiving after an early end to their Operation New Dawn deployment in Iraq.

Another 60 Soldiers and Airmen with the Arkansas National Guard's second Agriculture Development Team returned Nov. 19 and began their out-processing at Camp Atterbury, Ind. After an 11-month tour of duty of helping farmers in southern Afghanistan grow the agricultural economy in the region, they finally returned to their homes on Thanksgiving Day.

Soldiers of the 77th Theater Aviation Brigade Headquarters spent their deployment in Tallil, Iraq, with the mission to provide corps-level command and control for all aviation assets under the Unites States Division -- South.

With operations ending in Iraq, though, their deployment was shortened.

Of the 125 Soldiers who deployed on Feb. 17 -- slated for a 12-month mobilization -- 80 found themselves returning three months early to Fort Hood, Texas, Nov. 19, where they began their mobilization out-processing.

Most of the Soldiers returned home for Thanksgiving, but several remained at Fort Hood for 30 days, awaiting the return of the final 25 from Iraq as they continued to close down operations there.

(Maj. Chris Heathscott is the Arkansas National Guard State Public Affairs officer)

Page last updated Mon November 28th, 2011 at 00:00