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After Combat In Afghanistan, Soldiers Return To Fort Hood

By Jay Gormley, CBS 11 News
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National Guard members stand in formation. (credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

National Guard members stand in formation. (credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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FORT HOOD (CBSDFW.COM) – It was a homecoming twice as nice. Nearly 40 soldiers, who flew combat helicopters in Afghanistan, returned to Fort Hood on Monday.

Their homecoming comes only eight days after the death of Osama bin Laden.

A CBS 11 News team in Fort Hood spoke with some of the soldiers who said news of bin Laden’s death has provided a huge moral boost.

“With him being gone, that’s a big victory for America, for the brigade,” said Sgt. 1st Class Derrick Brown. “We flew countless missions over there and didn’t lose any soldiers. We’re proud of that accomplishment also.”

What a week for the soldiers of the 4th Combat Aviation Brigade. First, the news of bin Laden’s death is a welcome shot in the arm. Then, they receive an emotional welcome home from their families.

Not surprisingly, the soldiers were greeted with hugs, kisses and tears of joy.

The soldiers were part of President Barack Obama’s surge of 30,000 additional troops back in July of 2010. They flew helicopter combat missions over northern Afghanistan.

Although the soldiers returning Mondays weren’t part of the raid on bin Laden’s mansion in Pakistan, they say his death gave the troops an added sense of accomplishment.

“Getting him, yes, it felt good that we got him, but to be honest, that really wasn’t the reason we were over there,” explained Sgt. 1st Class Michael Newport. “We were over there to train those people so they can take over security, so we can bring all of our people home.”

The 4th Combat Aviation Brigade consists of 3,500 soldiers. The majority of them will be coming home in waves through July.

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