'Best Feeling Ever,' Families and Soldiers Reunite After Training

After 10 grueling weeks of basic combat training at Fort Jackson, graduating soldiers reunite with Families at Family Day.

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - During Basic Training at Fort Jackson, regular men and women go through intense training to become a soldier over 10 weeks.

In that time, families are separated with little communication. On Wednesday, the day before graduation, families were able to hug the ones they love.

On the base, the slogan that everyone know is “Forty Rounds, no ground to give, victory starts here.”

Here is in ten weeks, seventy days, and over six million seconds, learned and lived by the motto. It has led to them to this moment, Family Day.

"Fort Jackson, where we train the best soldiers in the world. Do you remember what they looked like ten weeks ago? I can assure you they will definitely look and act different," said Lieutenant Colonel Jason Pieri.

Sons and daughters are separated from families for more than two months to train to become part of the nation's bravest. When it's your child it feels like they've been missing them for a lifetime.

"The hardest thing I've ever done. Since he got on that plane September 6th," said Carrie Johnson.

One of the hardest parts for Okita Grant was not being able to talk to her cousin Fearon Benson.

“Not being able to contact her like you are used to doing, not being able to pick up the phone, and hear her voice. Just the separation part,” explained Grant.

They now get to see them for the first time after ten weeks.. People sprint out to the field to hug the necks of the ones they’ve missed so dearly.

Just being with the ones you love is enough for Private Chris Powell and his family.

"I'm not going to lie, it was pretty emotional. My family means the world to me. I would do anything for my family. It's mostly just mental. If you're able to do that, you can pretty much do anything,” explained Powell.

"Best feeling ever. More than you can imagine. Just to see that face again and touch him. More than proud," said Johnson.

Now they're ready to take on the world as American soldiers.

Graduation will take place Thursday morning at 10 a.m.

© 2017 WLTX-TV


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