A cheer rang out across Baumholder, Germany, on Thursday as the 2nd Brigade Combat Team’s colors were unfurled for the first time since the soldiers left on a 14-month tour to Iraq. Thousands packed the stands at Minnick Field to welcome home about 4,200 2nd BCT soldiers, who spent more than a year working with the Iraqi army, national police and "Sons of Iraq" civilians to improve security. A carnival followed, and soldiers drank that forbidden downrange delicacy — cold beer.

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