November 11th, 2009
10:49 AM ET

At Fort Hood, day of mourning ends with celebration

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/11/11/fort.hood.family.jpg caption="The Wolf family, from left to right, Zachariah, Margaret, Master Sgt. Steve Wolf and MacKenzie Lee."]

Jim Spellman

The homecoming celebration Tuesday night for soldiers returning from war is like no other ever held here.

A rowdy crowd assembles, as always, the excitement palpable. Teary wives and girlfriends and moms and dads hold the hands of children bearing signs like Zachariah Wolf's: "Welcome home bestest daddy."

But this time the community that gathers to cheer the soliders' safe return from Iraq spent the day mourning the loss of comrades from its midst.

The Grey Wolf Troopers, soldiers of the 3rd Brigade combat team, 1st Cavalry, are coming home after a year in Mosul. They, too, know that in their absence so much here has changed. The post they call home has been under attack; 13 soldiers and a civilian are gone, their alleged killer an Army major.

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