Valentine’s Homecoming at Fort Carson

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Thursday, 100 Fort Carson soldiers returned home to their families after a nine-month deployment in Europe.

The mission for the 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division was to work with American allies in the Balkan and Baltic states on training, readiness and information sharing.

“This just is a special moment for us all getting back,” Billy Austin said. “Just looking out and doing what’s best for our country, I really enjoy it. It means a lot.”

Austin has been in the Army for around 20 years. This was his first deployment away from his two younger children, and over the course of his time away from home, his third was born, a son named Ryker.

“It just makes you appreciate the smaller things in life,” Austin said. “Spending time with these four, I’ve been looking forward to it for nine months.”

For another family, the Montanos, this was their first homecoming and deployment.

“This is my first homecoming, but I’ve been in the crowd to support my cousin’s,” said Nathan Montano.

Montano left for his mission just weeks after his daughter, Alice, was born.

“Baby’s gotten bigger, wife’s still beautiful,” Nathan said.

Nathan’s wife, Charlie, has missed her husband, saying it’s a little lonely while he is gone.

“I’ve been waiting since he got on the plane,” Charlie said. “I’ve been really anxious just for him to get home and to get it over with.”

The Montanos went to Sonic for their Valentine’s Day dinner. Nathan has missed it, seeing as he couldn’t find one in Europe.

The Austins are opting for a home cooked meal to celebrate.

“It’s awesome,” Austin said. “It’s the best Valentine’s present I’ve ever had, is getting home and getting to be with all of them.”

This was the second group of several to come home from this division.

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