End of the surge: Welcome home, Daddy!

September 24, 2012 6:46:34 AM PDT
With Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's announcement that 33,000 troops have been withdrawn from Afghanistan, the surge announced by President Obama in 2009 is officially over.

But what that means for the troops and their families was on display earlier this week in Fort Bragg, N.C., as 300 personnel from the 82nd Airborne Division -including the 1st Brigade Combat Team and the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade -returned home from their deployments in Afghanistan.

For six months, members of the combat team ? known as "the Devils in Baggy Pants" ? had been stationed in southern Ghazni Province on the infamous Highway One between Kabul and Kandahar, a Taliban stronghold that was literally riddled with IEDs. The team's job: to clear the highway and keep it safe.

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