101st Airborne starts returning after deadly tour

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (AP) -- The first troops from the 101st Airborne Division return from Afghanistan this week and begin the months-long return and recovery period for a division beset by combat casualties.

While spirits are high around the post on the Tennessee-Kentucky state line, many families expect a bittersweet reunion as the soldiers unpack the emotional burdens after a year at war.

The division was part of President Barack Obama's troop surge to push back gains by insurgents, and its troops faced heavy fighting last year in the southern and eastern parts of the country. Since March, 105 soldiers from the famed Screaming Eagles died in the war.

About 275 soldiers from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team are scheduled to arrive at Fort Campbell on Friday afternoon. The return flights will continue into the summer.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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