FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) - The crowd of families begins cheering as
soldiers step from buses and march onto the field in formation. An
announcer welcomes them home and offers a prayer, then utters the
word everyone was waiting to hear.
"Charge!" The women and children then run full speed toward the soldiers, jumping into their arms.
Fort Hood held a traditional homecoming yesterday for 300 soldiers, the first of about 16,000 1st Cavalry Division troops set to return to the central Texas Army post in the next few months.
The flag flying at half mast was the only reminder of the mass shooting there last week that killed 13 and wounded 30, including the alleged shooter. First Cav Rear Detachment commander Col. Jeffrey Sauer says that, "despite what happened ... there is a lot of joy and happiness with these families."
Life on the post has returned to normal after the Nov. 5 shooting in the Soldier Readiness Processing Center, where soldiers must go before they are deployed.
Fort Hood is up and running again after physical training and the soldiers' other duties were canceled Friday for a day of mourning. Fort Hood's Command Sgt. Maj. Arthur L. Coleman Jr. says that "shows that we're able to take a hit and bounce back."