FAIRBANKS - The last members of the 1st Stryker brigade are returning to Fort Wainwright after a year in Iraq.
About 500 returned Sunday to an emotional greeting by friends and family members.
1st Sgt. Andrew Woods was greeted by his wife Jennifer and five children, who each had a "daddy doll" - a miniature version of their father and the words "I love you" on it.
Woods marveled at how his children had grown. Sixteen-month-old Victoria was just a few months old when he deployed.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that after this week, fewer than a dozen soldiers from the 4,000-member brigade will remain out with equipment being shipped back to the United States.
The Strykers worked in the Diyala province in northern Iraq, running counter-insurgency operations and working with Iraqi security forces.
The Fort Wainwright brigade is being replaced in Iraq by the 3rd Stryker brigade from Fort Lewis, Wash.
Juneau Empire ©2013. All Rights Reserved.