Baylor, Central Texas Welcome Home the 56th Brigade

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Dec. 13, 2005

by Lori Fogleman (254) 710-6275

For more on the Jan. 1, 2005, sendoff ceremony, please click on this link.

After serving for nearly a year in Iraq, more than 2,500 soldiers of the 56th Brigade Combat Team, 36th Infantry Division, returned to their families and their civilian jobs, after a rousing and emotional welcome home ceremony Dec. 10 at Baylor University's Floyd Casey Stadium.

About 27,000 family members and friends filled the west side of the stadium for the event, which included the ceremonial uncasing of the flags, patriotic music and speeches from Gov. Rick Perry, Rep. Chet Edwards, Maj. Gen. Charles G. Rodriguez, Adjutant General of Texas, and Col. James K. "Red" Brown, commander of the 56th BCT.

Nearly a year ago, the soldiers stood on the same field, saying goodbye to their families and friends during their deployment ceremony on New Years Day.

"It has been an honor for Baylor University to work with Fort Hood, not only on the Jan. 1 deployment ceremony but also to be there once again to welcome our troops back home," said Tommye Lou Davis, chief of staff to Baylor's chancellor. "We have enjoyed working with the Army and the Texas National Guard, and we are appreciative of the special relationship that has been established between the university and our service members."

Among the returning soldiers were 29 who at the time of deployment were not American citizens yet, but who loved their chosen country so much that they decided to serve it. During the Dec. 10 ceremony, they were sworn in as American citizens by U.S. District Judge Walter Smith Jr.

Click here to order a DVD of the welcome home ceremony. DVDs also are still available for the Jan. 1 send-off ceremony. Kre8it Video Productions is located in Gatesville. Their phone number is (254) 223-3431.

Photos by Robert Rogers, Baylor Photography.

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