Soldiers Welcomed Home at Fort Lee Sunday - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Soldiers Welcomed Home at Fort Lee Sunday

Fort Lee, VA - Dozens of soldiers with the 275th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion were welcomed home by family Sunday. They were some of the last soldiers to leave Iraq, as part of Operation New Day. Along the way, they made history.

"We drove over 3.5 million miles over some of the most dangerous roads in the world. Under constant threat of enemy attack. We accomplished our mission, and we brought everyone home safely,' said Christopher "Sam" Houston, LTC (P).

It was the 275th's first deployment. They were gone nearly a year, helping coordinate the Army's exit from Iraq. They were some of the last to leave, but they all came home.

"This was done without a peace agreement, without a cease fire," said Houston. "Everything that we did in drawing down forces from Iraq was under the threat of hostile enemy action."

"First day out of Iraq, it was like yes…we're out, finally and don't have to worry so much about the life threatening thing," soldier Jacob Sansbury of Midlothian told NBC12. "But still not home conditions. We were still living in tents and cots and that sort of thing."

Now, they're officially back into the arms of those they love most.

"My dog Tank, he goes crazy every time I come home. Just jumps up in my arms. Runs all over the house. It's great," said Sansbury.

 "My mom cried a lot because she likes-she cries. It's what she does. They were really happy to see me," added Jessica Figueoroa, of Manasses, VA.

And this time, they're home for good. 

 "It was just like groups and groups of people It just made us feel really good that nobody had forgotten us and people appreciated what we did and that was just really heart-warming," said Figueoroa.

"You don't realize what you miss until you're gone and then you're finally back and it's like wow, I missed the little things. I missed that the hot water doesn't cut out in the shower, I can even take a shower," said Sansbury. "Little things like that is what you really miss."

Officials say the unit was the backbone of the largest retrograde of forces since World War II. Each soldier was presented an American Flag to thank him or her for serving.

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