OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea — After roaring their enthusiasm at a farewell ceremony here early Wednesday, about 200 soldiers ended a year of duty in South Korea and then boarded a jetliner for Texas.

The troops were part of the 1st Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery, which is departing the peninsula in stages and will be gone by the end of the month.

They were stationed at Suwon Air Base as part of the 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, which maintains Patriot missile batteries across South Korea.

Wednesday’s group left aboard a United Airlines Boeing 777 that earlier in the day brought in troops of the unit replacing the 1-7 ADA at Suwon.

That unit, the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Air Defense Artillery, will serve a year with the brigade.

During an indoor ceremony here, brigade leaders counseled troops to avoid potentially troublesome situations back home.

"I ask you to make good choices, make good decisions," brigade Command Sgt. Maj. James T. Carr told the troops. "Avoid getting into a car with someone who’s been drinking. Take care of each other."

Brigade commander Col. James H. Dickenson cautioned soldiers — especially those rejoining families — to be patient in the early readjustment to stateside life.

"You’ve done it all with class," Dickenson said of their tour in Korea "We did not have one death or serious accident" while the battalion was on the peninsula.

"One thing to remember," Dickenson said. "Be patient. Be patient when you get home. Because things are different. ... People have been doing things without you for a year."

The brigade is to formally switch the two battalions at Suwon with a 10 a.m. Friday ceremony.

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now