These happy pictures were taken in Los Alamitos, California yesterday as more than 100 Soldiers of the 1st Battalion 185th Infantry Regiment, Charlie Company returned to the Joint Forces Training Base from Baghdad, Iraq. The soldiers served a seven-month tour in downtown Baghdad.
According to a study released by the army yesterday, homecomings aren't always seamless. The report showed the greatest strain on soldiers who have served multiple tours. The report said, "Soldiers on multiple deployments report low morale, more mental health problems, and more stress-related work problems. Soldiers on their third/fourth deployment are at particular risk of mental health problems." The rate of problems escalates per tour, from about 12 percent following the first tour, to 33 percent after three. Lieutenant Colonel Paul Bliese, leader of the mental health survey teams said, "One of the conclusions that we draw from this is that soldiers are not resetting entirely before they get back into theater." He added that the soldiers interviewed felt that the "absolute minimum" that they needed was 12 months at home for every 12 months deployed.