Fort Campbell soldiers return home after fighting against ISIS - WSMV Channel 4

Fort Campbell soldiers return home after fighting against ISIS

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FORT CAMPBELL, KY (WSMV) -

The long wait is over for many military families.

Soldiers from the 101st Headquarters and Artillery Battalions returned on Friday from a nine-month deployment in Iraq and Kuwait.

The 101st has been leading a 19-country coalition during their time there. Thursday, they handed off those duties the the 1st Infantry Division out of Fort Riley, KS.

One mother came from Georgia to welcome her son home.

"We are excited. We've written letters and we know how it feels to not have people home for birthdays and weddings," she said.

Maj. Gen. Gary J. Volesky, Commander of the 101st, said their mission was to support the Iraqi Security Forces as they try to take their country back from the Islamic State.

"Advise and assist the Iraqi security forces, then provide lethal fire by air and ground to enable them to maneuver, and then train them," Volesky said. 

Volesky said the Iraqi forces achieved a lot during their time.

"People said if you could just get the Iraqis up to around Mosul before you left that would be a success. Well, they've been in Mosul for a month now," he said.

The division authorized nearly 7,000 strikes, destroying ISIS strongholds, hideouts and weapons.

Volesky was among the solders who returned to Fort Campbell on Friday. He said the Iraqis outperformed expectations taking back several cities from ISIS and are now on the doorstep to take back Mosul.

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