Soldiers serving in a combat aviation brigade at Fort Campbell returned from Afghanistan on Friday to smiling families.
The 103 soldiers from the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division were deployed six months working in eastern Afghanistan to assist U.S. and international troops.
The troops have served two tours since 2012 in Afghanistan, flying more than 18,000 missions. This is the unit's second deployment to Afghanistan since 2010.
Families were happy to see their loved ones.
"It feels wonderful. It's the best feeling in the world," said Army wife Courtney Conklin.
Conklin's husband, Mark, deployed shortly after the birth of Juliet, the couple's daughter. She was just 3 weeks old the last time he saw her.
"She was the size of my hand when I left. Now, she's so big," said Capt. Mark Conklin.
"It's been difficult especially at nighttime when she's waking up three times in the middle of the night," said Courtney Conklin.
Staff Sgt. Bryon Gaines made it home just in time to see the birth of his son, who is due in a matter of days.
"She had appointments, and I was able to get online and I'd watch the sonogram, which was exciting," said Gaines.
During the first deployment, the troops provided medical support before taking a more advisory role this time.
Thousands of soldiers from Fort Campbell are deployed or are preparing to deploy this year to Afghanistan.
Copyright WSMV 2012 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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