Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

February 23, 2010

Welcome home soldiers

Ga. citizen-soldiers finally home from Afghanistan

FORT STEWART — Squinting in the dark early Tuesday as she searched for her husband among scores of camouflage fatigues, Rachel Clark waved her homemade sign, “We Love Our Top Gun,” and blasted an air horn — a cry of relief that her citizen-soldier was home from a war zone.

Sgt. David Jeremy Clark scooped up his 3-year-old son, Logan, despite a back injury suffered during a car bombing as about 100 soldiers from the 48th Infantry Brigade arrived home to a rousing crowd at Fort Stewart. The troops spent nearly a year in Afghanistan — the brigade’s second deployment in five years.

“It’s a lot better than I even thought,” the 29-year-old sergeant said of the homecoming, tears streaming as his young sons wrapped their arms around his knees. “I’ve been ready to see these two.”

Theirs was the first flight home for more than 3,000 Georgia Army National Guard troops who deployed last year to help train Afghan police and security forces. The rest will return in the coming weeks, with the final group expected in April.

Despite their arrival just before 2 a.m. Tuesday, the citizen-soldiers were rushed by spouses, children and parents with kisses, tears and bear hugs after the troops marched in formation toward their reunion on the parade grounds at Fort Stewart. The Army post is 40 miles southwest of Savannah.

“It’s been tough. He’s my first born,” Doreatha Moore of Ellabell said of her strapping son, Sgt. Marcus Smith, whose photos were plastered on five poster-board signs his family made for his return.

Smith, a 27-year-old student at Georgia Southern University, stood beaming while surrounded by his mother and younger sisters.

“It’s like words don’t describe it,” he said. “It’s great — clean air, pine trees and home-cooked food.”

Text Only
Local News
  • ARociewilliams_002.jpg Woman shares nearly a century of lessons

    With nearly 100 years of life under her belt, Ocie Viola Williams has plenty of advice to share with the world. Her top two pieces of advice: know the importance of education and don’t expect a teacher to raise your child for you. 

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • psst1 photo page copy.jpg PSST! finishes peachy season

    Peach State Summer Theatre concluded its 2014 season Sunday, a season which broke attendance records for the professional musical theatre company.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_2381.jpeg Award-winning young professionals share success secrets

    The Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber’s MetroOne Young Professionals hosted a panel discussion on Tuesday at the Hilton Garden Inn to highlight successful business practices.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140726_summerlibrary002.jpg Library celebrates end of summer reading program

    With the first day of school just around the corner, students are soaking in the last few weeks of summer vacation. The end of summer also means the end of the South Georgia Regional Library’s 2014 summer reading program.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • artseason1 copy.jpg A sneak peek at some area arts organizations’ 2014-15 seasons

    Beethoven. Tennessee Williams. Non-stop art. Two versions of “The Wizard of Oz.” The 2014-15 arts season is coming.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • sabalmap.jpg Sabal Trail explains its position

    Representatives from Sabal Trail Transmission recently sat down with The Times to provide an update on the ongoing pipeline and potential economic development opportunities associated with the project.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072514-MoodyComp007.jpg Moody AFB crews race in load competition

    Moody Air Force Base hosted a weapons load competition Friday morning, a maintenance group tradition in which two 23d Maintenance Group A-10 munition load crews raced against the clock to load munitions onto an A-10C Thunderbolt II.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • moonshine bust.jpg Police close illegal drinking house

    After receiving numerous complaints, the Valdosta Police Department shut down an illegal alcohol sales operation Friday.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • election.jpg Black earns most votes in runoff

    State Rep. Ellis Black led the votes for state Senate District 8 Friday with seven of seven counties reporting certified results, according to the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140724-LAT1.jpg Little Actors Theatre ready for summer show

    Since 2004, the Little Actors Theatre has provided a place for children ages 6 to 19 to express themselves through acting.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

Top News
Poll

Do you agree with the millage rate increases?

Yes. We need to maintain services
No. Services should have been cut.
     View Results