Many members of Fort Bragg's 82nd Airborne traded the sands of the Middle East for the friendlier sands of Fantasy Lake in Hope Mills Labor Day weekend.
Timothy Boone has deployed to Iraq twice and Afghanistan once. He's not thinking about any of that right now. Monday it was about his two sons, his fiancé, and home sweet home.
"It's nothing like being back in the States. You know the sand is great, the air smells great, the water is fresh. You know, you can actually go in the water. Having a good time, friends, families all around you - great experience. I love it," he said.
Boone's fiancé is a soldier too and they plan to wed Sunday. She said she knows how important family time together really is.
"I mean, sometimes it's hard more for the kids than us - especially because we're dual military. I know what the Army requires. He knows what the Army requires. The kids, they just like why well, why is mom not here? Why is dad not here?" explained Delia Niles.
About 200 members of the 4th Brigade Combat Team just got back Friday. And there are soldiers home enjoying a little R&R before they have to head back to the Middle East.
Private First Class Thurman Cummings is smack dab in the middle of a two week vacation from his work as a military police officer in Iraq. He too was at Fantasy Lake enjoying family and friends.
"We went clubbing a little, coming out here to Fantasy Lake. Just chilling out with my buddies right here. That's my brother, my cousin and my friends, he said."