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A hot tub, whiskey and a good cigar
Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch back at Fort Stewrt
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Third Infantry Division commander, Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch told reporters his own plans as he arrived home at Hunter Army Airfield Tuesday: the hot tub, whiskey and a good cigar.
But those things come after the general carefully thanked the right people, acknowledged support from home, praised his own soldiers and others, and noted that many were still deployed.
About 260 soldiers of the Special Troops Battalion were on the flight with the general.  The division headquarters was the lead element for Task Force Marne, securing and building capacity in its area of responsibility in Iraq south of Baghdad.  More than 1,000 friends and family were on hand to welcome home Lynch and his dog-face soldiers.
 In his welcome remarks, Lynch said that people have two choices when it comes to history; either read about it, or be a part of it.
 "By God, we made history over the last 15 months," Lynch said, then addressed family and community members.  "We couldn't have done it without your support," he told them.
"We killed or captured 6,000 insurgents," he said. "We went from 25 attacks a day to less than two ... and we turned what was called the 'Triangle of Death' into a triangle of life."
After leave and a change of command, Lynch will get a third star and take over at Fort Hood, Texas, as a lieutenant general.
The incoming commander for Fort Stewart and the 3rd ID is Maj. Gen. Anthony Cucolo, currently the Army's chief of public affairs.
Lynch noted that Cucolo is a former commander of the 3rd ID's Third Brigade. "Gen. Cucolo will be a magnificent Marne 6," he said, using the radio call sign for the division commander.
About 780 soldiers from the STB have come home. The First Brigade Combat Team has also returned.
The Second Brigade Combat Team is expected to redeploy this month and next, and the 4th BCT is slated for return in January and February 2009.
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