82nd returns home from Baghdad

FORT BRAGG

The members of the /*504th Parachute Infantry Regiment*/ have spent the past 15 months fighting in /*Baghdad*/.

Families waited for their loved ones to return from combat at /*Fort Bragg*/ Wednesday morning.

It was a proud moment for Staff Sergeant Kenneth Butler. He lost his arm fighting in /*Iraq*/.

He is a member of the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment. He was at the homecoming to welcome his friends home.

"Ah, it's a great relief just knowing that they've come back safe and they're all home together again with their families where they belong," Butler said.

The homecomings are especially special to many of the families.

Sergeant Robert Burnett missed the birth of his child by one month. He said today was the first time he heard his daughter cry in person.

"[I] heard it on the phone but never in person," Burnett said. "It's wonderful. It's a good feeling."

PFC Linwood Battle's mother, Darlene Battle, said her son's deployment was hard for her.

"I'm glad he's home. I didn't cry when he left but I cried when he got back," she said. "So he's safe. I can breathe now."

Another couple of hundred solders are expected to turn to Fort Bragg Wednesday night. In all, about 2,000 members of the 82nd will be home before the end of the month.

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