Welcome home 230th soldiers
Danny Jones, Special to The Press
An estimated 400 people anxiously waited at the National Guard Armory for four bus-loads of service men and women being escorted home by five squad cars from the Gibson County Sheriff’s office to arrive.
Sheriff Chuck Arnold, who was among those waiting to greet the soldiers, said, “To show support of the Guard and community, we escorted the troops all the way from Smyrna.”
The unit had flown from Fort Bliss, Texas, where they had spent several days out processing from active duty following a year-long deployment in Kuwait. Along the route the convoy traveled that include a loop around the courthouse, townspeople gathered in their yards waving flags and signs welcoming the soldiers home.
“Family, thank you for allowing me to have your soldiers, the past year. Each has been a vital part of Operation Enduring Freedom,” CSM Tim Madison said at formation after a 15-minute reunion of soldiers and their families.
“Give them time to decompress. Battalion, my soldiers, what I ask of you is use the Buddy system. Call your Buddy twice a week. You have done an outstanding job, losing weight, acting like soldiers and having discipline. Now, put it to good use.” Chaplain (CPT) Trhea Nixon was called upon to bless the group of “fine troops” that thankfully had arrived home safely.
A modified version of uncasing of the colors was held at the conclusion of formation.
Battalion Commander LTC Stephen Jaco said, “Thank you great people for coming here and welcoming your loved ones, family and true Americans. I know the sacrifices you have endured, while your loved one was away. I couldn’t be prouder of you soldiers. They have grown and I am proud to say I was your commander.”
“Be careful when you get home, take care of each other and love your families.”
With that said, the Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Jaco, assisted by CSM Madison and Sgt. Brent Autry who held the guidon uncased the 230th colors and the troops were dismissed.
The 913th Engineer Co. of the Tennessee National Guard in Union City is scheduled to arrive around 4 p.m. today (Thursday).
Editor’s note: Danny Jones is the Editor at The Gazette in Trenton.