FORT BRAGG, NC (WTVD) -- It was hard to describe the joy at Fort Bragg Monday evening.
"Like something that I have been thinking about for the last 11 months. I can't describe it," said Corporal Samantha Knatzer.
A group of soldiers from the 1st Theater Sustainment Command returned from the Middle East. Some had been deployed for 9 months and others for even longer.
They supply everything from beans to bullets for American troops in the Middle East, including transportation, supplies, and medical support.
"We enable the ground fighters to do their jobs by supplying them. Without supplies, they are limited to what they can do, so we are there to expand their abilities to do their jobs," explained Colonel Dan Rossi.
To 4-year-old Jackson Knatzer, 11 months without mom can seem like a lifetime. This first deployment was tough on dad too.
"We just say Mommie is in the desert doing work and she is doing work, but she will be coming home soon," said husband and father Kris Knatzer.
This was Major Curtis Perkins' sixth deployment, and he said it doesn't get any easier.
"Everyone is grown up. Everyone is bigger. They have lived life without you. Now you got to come back and reintegrate and become part of the family again," he said.
And the soldiers are getting some help. Returning troops get "family reintegrating counseling" to help them get back into family life. After that, the troops get two weeks block leave.
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