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The program that began eight years ago, to welcome troops home for R and R (rest and relaxation) will come to an end today.

The soldiers and airmen who stepped off the last R & R flight at DFW airport stepped into a sea of tearful jubilation that swept them through Terminal D.

About a thousand greeters gathered to say hello and thanks to the 230 men and women who stepped off the plane, wearing their uniforms. They arrived from Afghanistan.

Since the program started in 2004, about 920,000 service members have gone through DFW.

Those who arrived on this last flight were moved, surprised and humbled by the parade.

Last month, the Army announced it would consolidate the program to Atlanta s Hartfield-Jackson Airport.

The USO will maintain a facility at DFW to continue serving troops.

E-mail jdouglas@wfaa.com

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