FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. – As Richelle Porter waited for her husband she scanned the crowd of Soldiers until she saw him crossing the division parade field.“Are you ready to have daddy back,” she asked her 4-year-old daughter, Emerson, sitting beside her.“Yes, I am,” Emerson said as she clenched her mother’s hand. “I’m super excited. I’m going to give him a great big hug and get him to buy me a toy.”Staff Sergeant Isaac Porter, 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), was among 112 Soldiers assigned to Task Force Bulldog participating in an Aug. 18 welcome home ceremony after a three-month deployment to Djibouti, a country located in East Africa.The Soldiers quarantined for 14 days before deploying and were regularly screened for COVID-19 while on deployment. Because COVID-19 mitigation measures that were in place during their deploy-ment, the Soldiers were not required to quarantine upon redeployment.In the COVID-19 operating environment welcome home ceremonies are now celebrated outdoors at division parade field instead of Hangar 3.The parade field provides ample space for social distancing. Participants were required to wear face masks and hand sanitizer was provided.Returning Soldiers were bussed to the parade field and as the crowd cheered the Soldiers marched in formation and then stood at attention for brief remarks.“Today marks the completion of a job well done,” said Lt. Col. James Stultz, 1-187th Inf. Regt. com-mander. “It also marks the end of a long chapter of Bulldog Company’s association with Africa.”Bulldog Company was a week away from deploying to Africa in the fall until the mission requirement ended. In March, they almost deployed to Morocco to participate in a multi-national brigade live-fire exercise before that training was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.“Finally, after months of change and uncertainty, this tightknit group of Leader Rakkasans deployed with the 2-506th of the East Africa Response Force and that’s where they’ve been deployed for the past three months,” Stultz said.The “highly trained, hard charging Rakkasans” always remain vigilant, he said.“They remain ready. Ready for any contingency, like conducting numerous deployment rehearsals and training events with the joint and coalition community,” Stultz said. “But no Rakkasan deployment would be complete without a little bit extra in terms of the challenge. For Team Bulldog that came in the way of deploying in the hottest part of the year to East Africa. The average temperature for Dji-bouti from May until October is a balmy 106 degrees. That’s why you might see some of them shiver-ing on the field today.”After finishing his remarks, Stultz asked Family members to count down from five to one for formation fallout.“Now go see your Families,” he said, as Families and friends quickly left the stands.The usual affection displayed during ceremonies was largely replaced by hugs and a quick trip to the parking lot to spread out.Lakota Moody almost forgot the sign she made, that reads “Out of my way, I get my daddy back to-day.” Moody and her 9-month-old son, Walker, wound up wearing flecks of glitter from the sign.She said she talked to her husband, Cpl. Taylor Moody, while he was deployed, but he has already missed milestones and she was anxious to show off Walker’s new skills.“Walker started crawling while his father was gone, so I’m glad to show off how mobile he is,” Moody said.She wasn’t the only one who made a sign to celebrate the occasion.Sergeant Gerardo Romo, 2nd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group, made a sign that read “Welcome Home Alexis.” Along with the sign, Romo met his wife, Spc. Alexis Romo, with a bouquet of flowers.“We’re going to go to Edward’s Steak House and have a nice dinner,” he said.Staff Sergeant David Stark was happy to be home.“I’m most looking forward to just enjoying the outside again,” Stark said. “I love being outside and the weather is better here. And I’m looking forward to riding my Harley.”Staff Sergeant Darrius Williams, who is assigned to Pittsburgh Military Enlistment Processing Station, traveled to Fort Campbell to welcome home his friend, Staff Sgt. Michael Mendoza.“He means a lot to me,” Williams said. “I told him whenever he left, I’m going to be there for him when he got back.”Williams, who said he will be a Rakkasan “until I die,” considers Mendoza his brother.“We’ve been through it all together from deployment until now,” he said.