BW has learned that the first wave of more than 1,500 members of the Idaho Army National Guard has arrived back in the United States. The first group of several hundred men and women of the 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team touched down on Sunday at Joint Boise Lewis-McChord, outside of Seattle. Another direct flight from Kuwait is expected to arrive tonight. Idaho citizen soldiers join 600 soldiers from Montana and 600 from Oregon to make up the 116th, which has been deployed in Iraq for nearly 10 months.
The soldiers will be "demobilized" at Lewis-McChord and following nearly a week of debriefing, each will head back to their hometowns.
In this week's BW, we offer an in-depth report on the homecoming with particular emphasis on the economic and mental health challenges facing soldiers and their families.