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Some 3,000 1st Cavalry Division soldiers are making their way home to Fort Hood after a 15-month deployment to Iraq.

But before they get to the welcome-home parties — one, for some 300 soldiers of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, is scheduled for Tuesday — they still have work to do in Kuwait.

According to division officials, the tasks are many.

The division’s helicopters must be cleaned and prepped for customs inspections. Thousands of vehicles must be washed and inspected. Equipment must be loaded onto ships.

And most importantly, soldiers must be processed and readied for the series of trips that will eventually take them to their home base.

As with many units, the brigade is headed home little by little, as various soldiers and equipment are processed through the system.

Spc. Michael McGrath is one of hundreds of brigade soldiers placed throughout Kuwait to help get everything home.

Once the troops get to Camp Virginia from Iraq, the length of time before they get on the plane varies.

“It’s a waiting game. Whenever a plane shows up is when you’re going home,” he said. “Everything is subject to change.”

Most troops take about three days to process through and get home, he said.

“There’s always the inevitable hurry up and wait,” Spc. Brook Taylor, of Company E, 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, was quoted as saying in a news release detailing the processes.


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