Fort Bragg soldiers reunite with families after 9-month deployment

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (WNCN) – The 18th Field Artillery Brigade arrived back home to a special ceremony Tuesday morning.

About 100 soldiers arrived home from the Middle Easter after a nine-month deployment. They were reunited with their families Tuesday at Pope Army Airfield.

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While overseas, the Military says the brigade commanded U.S. field artillery units and provided targeting and coordination of long-range precision fires.

They also worked to strengthen Military relationships with other nations in that region.

“Great mission and we had a good group of guys that we went with and great support back here at Fort Bragg with the Fort Bragg Community,” said Maj. Eric Durrant.

This was Durrant’s fifth deployment and hopes his last.

“It’s always tough, you know, just taking care of home watching out for mom and all the brothers and sisters. It’s never easy, but you got to do what you got to do to, but it’s good to have him home,” said Nathan Durrant, Maj. Durrant’s son.

Spc. Nicolas Memdiola said this was his first deployment and he left just before his now 8-month-old daughter Kialey was born. Mendiola’s wife, Airyana, said it was a tough time being apart, but they used Skype to help dad stay connected with their four kids.

“I just wanted to run to him and give him a big hug,” Airyana Mendiola said after seeing her husband.

“I don’t know. It was just overwhelming just to be able to see my daughter, and actually, this is my first daughter, so it’s overwhelming,” Spc. Nicolas Mendiola said.

The soldiers will have some time to catch up with their families and to get some rest and relaxation.

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