FORT SILL, OK (RNN Texoma) - Basic Trainees from Fort Sill are headed home for the holidays. Some left Tuesday night, but the majority of them left Wednesday night during the mass Holiday Block Leave exit. More than 3,300 soldiers loaded buses that will take them to airports, so they can catch a flight home. Before the basic trainees could leave, they made sure they had everything and then checked in.
Some of the new soldiers let their friends and family know they’ll be home for Christmas, others are surprising their loved ones. Private Jeremy Chaffey said his mom has no idea he’s headed home to North Carolina.
"Just give her a good Christmas gift,” he said. “She's supplied me life. Why don't I give back to her? Giver her a little hooah."
Private Chaffey's been in basic training here at Fort Sill for around two months and said his mom is going to be excited to see him.
"She's been sending me letters,” he said. “She's down that I'm not home and she's worried that I'm not getting gifts, so she'll be excited."
Private Chidera Abuachi is headed home to Texas and is looking forward to something else.
"Sleep…that's it," she said.
While these trainees will get some rest, home cooking a chance to see their families again, Col. Michael Konczey, the commander for the 434th Brigade, said it will be a nice break for the drill sergeants and cadre.
"We train 6 days a week 50 weeks a year and this is the only dedicated time for our folks to get time off to spend with their families," Col. Konczey said.
These soldiers will have to keep up with PT while they're home to make the transition easier when they return to post. Private Chaffey said he was reluctant to go home at first because he's close to finishing basic training.
"But now we're here and I'm like 'I'm going home,'" he said.
The trainees have to be back on post by January third and they’ll resume their training on the 7th.