Ft. Campbell soldiers return from 5-month deployment - WSMV Channel 4

Ft. Campbell soldiers return from 5-month deployment

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FORT CAMPBELL, KY (WSMV) -

There were plenty of tears of joy early Wednesday morning as more than 100 soldiers returned to Fort Campbell after spending nearly six months in Afghanistan.

It was the second unit from the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade to come home in as many weeks, and hundreds of family and friends lined the tarmac in frigid temperatures to anxiously await the soldiers' arrival.

"Happiness, to see her and my dad, my aunt and uncle, sister and brother," said Sgt. 1st Class Cedric Whiteside.

"He looks good. He looks great," said his mother, Marilyn Whiteside.

Because of changing mission requirements, the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade will be sending home selected units before a nine-month deployment is complete, according to Fort Campbell's public affairs office.

The unit was headquartered on Bagram Airfield and was responsible for providing aviation maintenance and refueling.

This was the brigade's second deployment to Afghanistan since 2010.

Some, like Sgt. Thomas Mayhood had not seen their young children since they were born.

"It's been a couple of months. It's good to get home," Mayhood said.

It was an emotional homecoming that, for these loved ones, was long overdue.

"He was so excited to see his daddy," said Marisol Zuniga, wife of a soldier.

The unit came home three months ahead of schedule, and the celebration continues later this week at Fort Campbell, as another brigade is set to arrive early Friday.

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