FORT HOOD — The families and friends of more than 60 soldiers got to welcome home their loved ones about three months earlier than expected Friday.

Soldiers of Alpha Battery, 2nd Battalion, 20th Field Artillery Regiment, 41st Fires Brigade, returned to Fort Hood after completing their nine-month mission to Kuwait in six months.

“They did a great job,” said Capt. J.P. Dragan, Alpha Battery commander. “I’m glad they all can be back home with their families, and I’m sure their families are glad they are back, too.”

While in Kuwait, the battery supported the region with indirect fire, while also working with it and other countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council, including Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, he said. Soldiers mainly trained on their (military occupational specialties), which are primarily artillery and long-range rockets.

“They also worked with other countries and learned how they operate,” Dragan said. “It was more of a mentorship.”

Spc. George Whiting greeted his 18-month-old stepdaughter, Chloe, with a teddy bear.

“I’m feeling great,” he said of being home.

His wife, Courtney Whiting, agreed. “It’s amazing to have him home early,” she said. “I’m very happy.”

Contact Rose L. Thayer at rthayer@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7463. Follow her on Twitter at KDHmilitary.

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Rose L. Thayer is the military editor for the Killeen Daily Herald. She joined the paper in February 2011 as a health and military reporter. View her complete profile Here.

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