Coming home to loved ones is a popular holiday theme, and it's happening for hundreds of soldiers and their families at Fort Carson.
5,000 members of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division are gradually arriving at the Mountain Post after a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan.
A group of 150 soldiers returned Tuesday evening, with 50 more due back on Wednesday evening. 500 soldiers are expected home next week. The first group began returning last week. Officials hope to have the entire brigade home by Christmas.
Soldiers and their families are happy about the shorter deployment, compared to terms as long as 15 months before. The brigade consists of soldiers deploying for the first time, to those who have served four terms of duty.
Some soldiers' spouses said the shorter deployment made separation less painful, and that it was easier to keep families together.
Many of Tuesday's returning soldiers were happy but tired after a 24-hour flight from the Middle East. However, they look forward to being home and reuniting with family and friends.
The brigade worked with Afghan security forces to help build dozens of infrastructure projects, including schools, roads and medical clinics.