Ft. Campbell soldiers return from Iraq

Nearly 450 soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division returned home from Iraq on Friday and more flights into Fort Campbell are expected soon, base officials said.

The new arrivals bring the total number who have returned since the first homeward-bound flights in early July to about 1,000. Up to four flights, each of about 200 soldiers, are expected next week at the sprawling Army base that straddles the Tennessee-Kentucky state line.

“We’re getting to the point where the main body of the units are prepared to come in,” said Fort Campbell spokeswoman Cathy Gramling. “Every time we welcome soldiers home, it’s important and it’s a great time to be at Fort Campbell.”

Most of the nearly 20,000 soldiers in the division should be back from Iraq by the end of November, Gramling said.

Vickie Kane and her husband traveled from Arkansas to greet their son, 23-year-old Spc. Adam Kane, on Friday. They were joined by their three other children and daughter-in-law, Amanda Kane.

“Of course we’re proud. They’ve served so honorably. We’re relieved. It’s been a long year for everybody. We know it’s been hard for them to be away from home,” Vickie Kane said.

The family drove in a van and a truck that had painted on the side in bold red, white and blue letters: “We Love You Adam” and “We Love 101st Airborne.”

The 101st Airborne is finishing up its second yearlong deployment to Iraq. The first came at the start of the war in 2003, then troops returned for about a year before the second deployment in October.

Fort Campbell has had 166 soldiers die in the Iraq war since 2003. More than 150 of those were from the 101st Airborne.

Associated Press Writer

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