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Families gather at Ft. Polk as soldiers return home after 6-month deployment

On Wednesday, May 25, hundreds of family and friends gathered at Fort Polk and eagerly waited for their loved ones to return to the Home of Heroes.
Published: May. 25, 2022 at 9:54 PM CDT
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FORT POLK, La. (KALB) - On Wednesday, May 25, hundreds of family and friends gathered at Fort Polk and eagerly waited for their loved ones to return to the Home of Heroes.

The soldiers returning belong to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, who was on a six-month deployment to the U.S. Central Command Area of Responsibility. That area includes many countries in the Middle East, Northeast Africa, and Southwest Asia.

Ceymonne Ortiz, six months pregnant, said she was highly excited about her husband returning.

“I’m so excited my baby won’t stop kicking,” said Ortiz. “This is our first pregnancy, we found out right after he left, and he has been telling me that he is just so excited to get here and touch the belly. I just want to touch him and hold him and make sure he is welcomed home.”

218 soldiers returned and were met with applause as they marched into formation to hear a short speech from Brigadier General David S. Doyle, Fort Polk’s Commanding General. Once dismissed, the soldiers were free to embrace their families and friends.

Sgt. Jesse Bailey returned home and met his son for the first time.

“There’s a lot of joy, this is the first time I’m getting to see him in person. I’m very thankful that I got to come home, and I’m very proud of my wife for taking care of everything and keeping everything in order while I was gone,” said Sgt. Bailey.

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