The unit landed at Hunter Army Airfield at about 11 p.m. Monday and was ferried to Fort Stewart. The soldiers were officially welcomed home shortly after midnight in a brief ceremony at the base's parade field.
Col. Lee Durham, commander of the unit, will return home on Wednesday with several hundred more 48th Brigade troops. The remaining 48th Brigade soldiers are expected to be home by the end of the month.
The unit served a tour in Iraq in 2005 and 2006.
A few family members welcoming the 48th Brigade veterans were themselves veterans. Wearing a baseball cap with "Vietnam Veteran" embroidered across the front, Allen Jackson welcomed home his daughter, Sgt. Jacqueline Jackson of Savannah.
"She was in the desert. I was in the jungle," Allen Jackson said.
The unit's operations in Afghanistan were directed from their headquarters in Kabul. In Georgia, many of the 48th Brigade's operations were directed by people such as Heather Hanson, the Family Readiness Group coordinator for the 148th.
"If I didn't check my email for two or three days, I'll have two or three emails from Heather Hanson," said Tracie Washington, Jarvis Washington's mother.
Hanson published a monthly newsletter and sent e-mails to let family members know about military discounts and support group meetings.
The homecoming was brief. The soldiers were given about 15 minutes with their families before loading back into the buses bound for the Fort Stewart barracks. After getting Tuesday off with their families, the soldiers will be recalled to Fort Stewart for a week of administrative work and health screenings.