Several of the Georgia-based troops had surprises waiting for them as they reunited with their families Tuesday. Pvt. Marcus Pirkola for the first time met his 5-month-old son, who was dressed in a Santa shirt and britches. Pfc. Scott Malena's girlfriend met him with a large sign that read: "Lookin' For My Santa Baby."
The returning soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment are among the first from Fort Stewart's 3rd Infantry Division to serve in Afghanistan. Previously their units focused on Iraq.
One reason the returning soldiers get to spend the holidays with their families is because their deployments lasted only nine months as opposed to a full year.