FORT SILL, Okla.-- Family members, service members and friends gave a thunderous applause to Soldiers assigned to 2nd Battalion, 18th Field Artillery and 3rd Battalion, 13th Field Artillery upon their return home from the United Arab Emirates May 7-12 at Reinhart Fitness Center, here.

After being deployed for nine months, the Soldiers eagerly anticipated being reunited with their loved ones.

"It feels great ," said Lt. Col. Jeffrey Van Cleave, battalion commander. "There is no greater feeling than to come home to your family and friends."

For some, the deployment marked the first time they had been away from their young children.
Sgt. Shawn Hilton, high mobility artillery rocket system crew chief, A Battery, 2-18th FA, said although he missed seeing his daughter Jaslyn, 2, he is looking forward to catching up on things with her and his wife, Rebecca.

The entire 'Mission Ready' battalion returned home in time for Mother's Day.

"We are going to stay home and enjoy each other's company," said Rebecca.