Posted: Dec 8, 2010 8:15 PM by Maddie Garrett
Updated: Dec 9, 2010 9:15 AM
The first group of soldiers from the 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team returned home Wednesday to Louisiana. KATC's Maddie Garrett goes inside their journey home with one Acadiana soldier that was reunited with his family today.
In January 2010, the 256th Infantry Brigade mobilized and deployed roughly 3,000 troops to Iraq. 19-years-old at the time, Specialist Paul Patty was one of them.
"The main thing I did was PSD (personal Security Detail) for generals and other people coming in," said Patty.
During the 2010 deployment, the 256th helped set up the conditions for the responsible withdrawal of U.S. Armed Forces and equipment as they transitioned to Operation New Dawn in September 2010. Patty's group was one of the last ones there.
"It was pretty good to see all the people there and then all the T-walls coming down the last day I was there so they were clearing the area away and all the Iraqi nationals and everybody getting used to everything," said Patty.
But while he was in Iraq, his family back home prayed for his safety.
"It was rough when he left," said his mother, Melissa Patty. "It's just a constant worry that something's going to happen," added his sister Heather Patty.
Now, hugging their son and brother for the first time in a long time means relief for this family and so many others like them.
"It was hard for him to be gone for so long and when he finally came home it was just a lot of weight off our chest," said Heather.
"Yes, sigh of relief that we knew we were back and we don't have to go nowhere else for a while and it'll be good to be back with our families," said Paul.
The rest of the 256th Brigade will be coming home in groups throughout December.