FT. SILL, Okla._The last soldiers of the first unit to fire live rockets in the United Arab Emirates are finally back on American soil and with their loved ones. Families couldn't wait for them to be dismissed at the Rhinehart Fitness Center so they could run and grab their soldier.
It's always a special sight to see military members return home, safe and out of harms way. The final half of the 1st Batallion, 14th Fielf Artillery Regiment, 2/14 Fires Brigade finally made it home.
Soldiers finally made it home to their families after a nine month deployment. During those nine months they conducted security operations and helped the country stabilize through working with their UAE counterpart.
First Battalion Commander Lieutenant Colonel John Maddaloni said soldiers received a great opportunity to train with the UAE.
"That was a special part of the mission and when these soldiers, especially the ones that hadn't deployed before to Iraq or Afghanistan, have a chance to work with the local forces, if you will. They get such a great kick out of it," said Lt. Col. Maddaloni.
A great surprise was how many soldiers showed up in support on this training holiday.
"You know that was the first thing that surprised me, and I talked to Colonel Preston who is the Brigade Commander for the 214th Fires Brigade and he said ‘JP, I've got my entire brigade here to support you,'" said Lt. Col. Maddaloni.
For families like the Grevious family, nine months has been a long time and it feels great to be back together.
"Amazing, it's the most highly anticipated moment of my life right now," said Jenine Grevious after getting to see her husband after being apart for nine months.
"It's great just to see the family again, just to connect with them. The best thing ever," Captain Sean Grevious added.
The soldiers are ready to get some of their personal space back after spending those nine months in tight quarters on a very loud airfield. Now that they are back home they face challenges such as integrating back into their families and garrison life.
The army has the support structure however to help any need, mental or physical.