Homecoming includes Waffle House for one soldier

Family and friends cheer Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012, during a homecoming at Fort Carson's Special Events Center for soldiers from the 10th Combat Support Hospital who were returning from Afghanistan. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock) Photo by CHRISTIAN MURDOCK, THE GAZETTE

Family and friends rushed into the arms of soldiers with 10th Combat Support Hospital on Thursday morning during a ceremony marking their return from a year at war.

The 117 soldiers that returned to Fort Carson on Friday spent much of the last year helping to staff five hospitals across Afghanistan, said Col. Michael Place, the unit’s commander.

The unit was responsible for about a third of the country, including the busiest coalition hospital at Camp Leatherneck, a joint venture with the British at nearby Camp Bastion.

Since the unit deployed in October, its soldiers treated about 6,000 trauma cases, including concussions and gunshot wounds, Place said. The survival rate for U.S. soldiers entering their care was 99.5 percent, he said.

After a year in Afghanistan, Master Sgt. Eric Andreis clutched his wife and their 1-year-old daughter, Ellie. A visit to the Waffle House for All-Star Breakfast awaited.

“I’m happy to be right here,” Andreis said. “I missed my family.”

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