Now it is not for us in 1st Brigade land to get too excited yet...but the first ADVON (Advanced Echelon) elements of the 1AD arrived home over the weekend...not OUR home...but the 2d Brigade in Baumholder. Second Brigade went downrange before us (1st Brigade), so it is right they begin heading home before us as well.
Meanwhile...we cross our fingers...
At precisely 12:30 a.m., a few hours after their C-17 landed at Rhein-Main Air Base, soldiers and officers marched into Baumholder’s flag-bedecked gym, filled with friends, banners, balloons, bouquets and welcome-home signs.
After a brief prayer, an even more-to-the-point welcoming speech by Capt. Jonathan Cornett, the 2nd Brigade rear detachment commander, and the playing of the national anthem and the official Army song, the soldiers were really home.
Being safe in Germany and out of the unrelenting heat and danger of Iraq is “like starting your life again,” said Spc. John Seawell, 21, with Headquarters, Headquarters Company of the 2nd Brigade.
“It’s like breathing again,” added Pfc. Pedro Vasquez, 23, of the same company. “It’s like you’ve been holding your breath and now you can start breathing normally again.”