Story by Megan Boatwright Eyewitness News Reporter
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- The countdown is on for families of the 212th Transportation Company. After spending a year in Afghanistan 170 Army Reservists are headed home, expected to arrive in the next two weeks.
This weekend a group of friends and family gathered at the Army Reserve Center on Hickory Valley Rd. to start planning and drawing. So far they've made over 50 welcome home signs to be posted along the company's route home. As one army wife tells Channel 3 it was a good diversion for families anxious to see their loved ones.
"I think for a lot of them it finally seems real," says Jenny Brown. "It's time, it's time for them to come home."
Visit the Army Reserve Center Sunday, and you'll find a room full of welcome signs. Put together by the tender loving care of family members.
"It actually felt real for the first time last night," says Maria Wood. "Wow, my husband's coming home."
For Wood and husband Staff Sergeant Jason Wood, serving their country has meant sacrificing that special time as newlyweds.
"We'll have been married 3 years in August," she says. "Our first anniversary Jason was on maneuvers in Wisconsin, our second anniversary he was deployed. We're looking forward to our third first anniversary."
Wood along with the rest of 212th Company left for Afghanistan April 8th, 2010. The couple's anniversary is in August, but anniversary number three will be very different.
"Hopefully take a trip to Bermuda to enjoy an anniversary," the army wife says with a big smile.
For Jenny Brown the anticipation is real, but not as intense. Brown's husband, Specialist Brad Brown came home early in October after a back injury.
"It was pretty hard knowing all of them were still going to be there," says Specialist Brown, of leaving his company behind.
Still the family is excited to see their friends and comrades return safely.
"I needed the poster making just almost as much as they did," says Jenny Brown. "Just to say okay, it's almost here."
For now Wood and the Browns are bidding their time, waiting and planning a welcome home like no other.
"The police department and fire department have embraced them coming home. To make them feel really welcome and appreciated for the sacrifices they've made for their country," says Wood.
Staff Sergeant Jason Wood is also a 5 year Chattanooga Police Officer.