Deployed soldiers home in time for holidays

3:34 PM, Dec 4, 2012   |    comments
Fort Stewart
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FORT STEWART, Ga. -- Christmas is here early for 200 Fort Stewart soldiers who have just come home from Afghanistan.

The returning soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment are among the first from Fort Stewart's 3rd Infantry Division to serve in Afghanistan. Previously their units focused on Iraq.

Several of the Georgia-based troops had surprises waiting for them as they reunited with their families Tuesday.

Pvt. Marcus Pirkola met his 5-month-old son, who was dressed in a Santa shirt and britches, for the first time.

Pfc. Scott Malena's girlfriend met him with a large sign that read: "Lookin' For My Santa Baby."

One reason the returning soldiers get to spend the holidays with their families is because their deployments lasted only nine months as opposed to a full year.

(Russ Bynum, Associated Press)

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