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FORT STEWART, Ga. -- Nine months after they left, hundreds of soldiers are returning home to Fort Stewart after their first deployment to Afghanistan.

The first group of 100 troops arrived Wednesday to cheers and tears from their spouses and parents. For Sgt. James Thorpe of Atlanta, the homecoming reunited him with his 8-month-old daughter, Alaysia. He had to leave his wife and child about three weeks after the birth.

More soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment are scheduled to return later this week. The battalion deployed 700 soldiers earlier this year.

Overall about 2,200 soldiers from Fort Stewart's 3rd Infantry Division have deployed to Afghanistan this year. The division served four tours in Iraq, but this year marks the first time it sent ground forces to Afghanistan.

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