Community welcomes 3rd ID soldiers home after deployment

Published: Aug. 10, 2022 at 5:24 PM EDT
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HINESVILLE, Ga. (WTOC) - The first couple hundred members of the 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart have returned from their deployment in Germany.

Their families welcomed them home yesterday morning, and now the surrounding community is sharing their joy of a safe return.

Serving those, who serve the country - that’s always been a goal of Zum Rosenhof. It’s a veteran-owned, German restaurant in the heart of downtown Hinesville.

The owners say homecomings like Tuesday’s are welcome news.

“It’s like family coming home. It’s like brothers, sisters, or my husband coming home. This is actually what it feels like. It’s goosebumps,” said Anka Hinze, the co-owner of Zum Rosenhof.

Anka and her husband, David, say now that these soldiers are returning home. It’s like a sigh of relief.

“There’s a lot of less worrying going on. Granted, they were in Europe, but families are happy. Whether they’re local family or not. Without the community, and without the military base, this place wouldn’t be functioning the way it is.”

In addition to local business owners, county leaders have also been excited to welcome back these armed servicemen and women. They say nothing compares to a homecoming.

“It’s like Christmas in August to have them back home safe and sound. Living back in the community, school has started, they’re getting back into those routines, all those things that make family what it is,” said Chairman Donald Lovette with the Liberty County Board of Commissioners.

Lovette says the community is proud of the men and women who serve.

“We support the role that Fort Stewart plays in keeping the world a safer place. So, every time units are deployed, we are there for them. We support them. Our prayers leave with them, and they return to our hugs.”

And back at Zum Rosenhof, the owners say they’re excited to see, “every last one of them. That’s it. They’re all friendly faces. They’re all family.”

More than 3,000 soldiers from Fort Stewart deployed to Europe earlier this year and they are all expected to return home by the end of the month.

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