As children played and held up signs, waiting family members wiped tears away and the 1st Infantry Division Band playing in the background, it was a day of celebration at Fort Riley as hundreds of Soldiers returned home.After an eight-month deployment that took about 800 Soldiers with the 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division to Afghanistan, members of the "Demon" brigade began redeploying back to Fort Riley in two ceremonies on April 12. Two additional ceremonies on April 13 and 15 brought the remaining Soldiers home from the deployment.The Demon brigade deployed to Afghanistan in August 2016 as part of a regular rotation of forces in support of Operation Resolute Support and Operation Freedom's Sentinel to conduct full-spectrum aviation operations, promoting security and stability in the region."I'm exceptionally humbled to be a part of this tremendous team," said Col. John M. Cyrulik, commander of 1st CAB. "They have lived up to the storied legacy of being brave, responsible and on point for the nation."While deployed, the 1st CAB formed Task Force Victory, which made their presence known with 116 helicopters. Pilots, maintainers and staff consisting of more than 1,100 Reserve and Active-component troopers all contributed to more than 36,000 flight hours in combat. They advised the NATO mission on air threats and provided security for distinguished visitors and members of Congress."The Soldiers should be very proud of what they accomplished over the last eight months," Cyrulik said.The Demon brigade conducted more than 700 operations during its deployment, reducing indirect fire and improvised explosive devices at six Coalition bases. Soldiers of the brigade flew nearly 200 medical evacuation missions, saving the lives of U.S., Coalition and Afghan forces."They were motivated and very professional," Cyrulik said. "They were well trained and exceptionally well led by the battalion task force commanders."Family members, friends and fellow Soldiers were present to give the returning Soldiers a warm welcome."It's been a long eight months," said Katie Dilena, wife of Capt. Jordan Dilena, an aviation officer assigned to 3rd Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Aviation Regiment, 1st CAB, 1st Inf. Div. "With two kids, James, five, and Madison, three, to take care of, it's been a real challenge, so I'm extremely excited and anxious at the same time to see my husband."Cyrulik and Command Sgt. Maj. Roque R. Quichocho, 1st CAB senior enlisted advisor, uncased the brigade colors during the welcome home ceremony April 12. The uncasing signifies the completion of the unit's overseas mission and their return to garrison operations.