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<center> <font size="4" s>TROOPS FROM 101ST RETURN
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<font color="navy" c>TROOPS FROM 101ST RETURN
By Kimberly Hefling
FORT CAMPBELL - Dusty and tired after nearly a year at war, the first 200 or so members of the 101st Airborne Division to come home from Iraq hugged their loved ones and bowed their heads in thanks yesterday.
"This was a hard deployment. It's great to be home," said Sgt. Robert Robinson, 25, of Detroit, who was surprised to be met by his bride, Charisse, who wore a white fur hat and dog tags with a picture of him etched on one side.
One little boy hugged his father's knee as the tired and dirty soldiers in desert uniforms stood in formation inside an airport hangar to receive a word of thanks for their service from retired Brig. Gen. J.W. Noles.
"Welcome to the real world," Noles said.
With that, many of the soldiers dropped their battle-tested helmets with a thud and ran off to kiss their loved ones. Others bowed their heads in a prayer of thanks.
"I just wanted to have it done," said Robinson, who spent eight months in Afghanistan before leaving shortly thereafter for Iraq. He and his wife dated three months before he was deployed, and they married while he was home on leave in October.
"I'll go anywhere with him," his wife said. "We can be home for all I care, just me and him."
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