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Soldiers stop in Charlotte on the way home for Christmas - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Soldiers stop in Charlotte on the way home for Christmas

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

From the moment they step off the bus to the time they walk through the terminal gates thousands of anxious of soldiers are ready to say goodbye to basic training and hello to their family and friends for the holidays.

"I'm headed to a very very small town in Ohio," said Mandy Moore.

Daykeria Johnson, 19 years old, is ready to see her "mom and my little sister because they are not used to me not being around."

About 2,500 Army trainees stationed in Fort Jackson swarmed Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

Nothing is better at lifting their spirits then the sight of volunteers greeting them.

Members of the USO of North Carolina were at the airport since midnight making sure the troops arrived to their destination on time and had something warm to eat before boarding their flights

"It's very nice to see that people support us and are willing to take time out of their schedules to come here," said Kenneth Wood.

Even Carolina Panthers showed up support the soldiers.

"Thank them for what they do because what they do is really hard they are away from their families they miss their families and today is a great day for them because they get to go home," said Center for the Panthers Jeff Byers.

But break won't last forever.
 
These soldiers are expected back in Fort Jackson in two weeks to complete their basic training.

Approximately 200 soldiers stay on Fort Jackson through the holiday period.

A special battalion is established to ensure the soldiers are cared for and enjoy the holidays with entertainment and specialty foods.

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