Troy Troops Return Home

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Balloons, welcome back posters and excitement filled the home armory of the 3rd Battalion 117th Artillery.

As the buses rolled up with 120 soldiers from the unit friends and families could hardly contain their excitement.

"It's the best thing in the world and to have our family together again," Valerie Harris says of her husband, U.S. Soldier Richard Brooks.

The 117th unit served as security for convoy and U.S. forces in Iraq. They were deployed in November of 2004 and trained for three months before reaching the war torn country. But now, their mission is accomplished.

"I'm glad to be back, if it weren't for God I wouldn't of made it," Sergeant Victor Brooks says.

And though they are no longer on active-duty, the troops say the camaraderie they've experienced with one another is priceless.

"You're an example of what it means to be an American, we are proud," Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford says.

The unit arrived from Camp Shelby a little more than a week ago. The 117th has firing batteries in Elba, Phenix City and Union Springs.