Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Wednesday night thousands of troops at Ft. Jackson embarked on Victory Block Leave meaning they get to spend two weeks at home with their families for the holidays.

Some 7,000 soldiers in basic training started leaving Wednesday night for their two week holiday leave. Senior enlisted soldiers are at the airports to assist anyone who is delayed or stranded.

Army officials say this is a time that the soldiers get to be a civilian again and not worry about the rules of basic training and enjoy the holiday with their families.

"They left their homes as civilians and now they are going back home in uniform over the holiday period and so I think it gives them a chance to get a break, spend quality time with their family and also reflect that I am in the army now and I am representing not only our army but our nation wearing the uniform and so I also think it gives them a sense of pride and fulfillment as they walk back and see their parents at the airport and now their son or daughter or husband or wife is now coming back in uniform so I think it is an important time," said Col. Bryan Hernandez.

All the soldiers are due back January 3rd.