A Soldier assigned to 543rd Military Police Company, 91st Military Police Battalion, holds his newborn baby for the first time during a redeployment ceremony July 22. The Warhawks were deployed to Afghanistan for a nine-month rotation in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

FORT DRUM, N.Y. -- When a returning unit marches into the gymnasium full of awaiting Family Members and friends, the atmosphere can be compared to a rock star coming out on stage for the first time to a sold-out show with the roar of the audience so loud it's felt in your chest.

More than 100 Soldiers assigned to 543rd Military Police Company, 91st Military Police Battalion, returned home July 22 after a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan.

The battalion held a redeployment ceremony at Monti Physical Fitness Center, where Family and friends waited anxiously to see the Soldiers after the long separation. They watched a video of their loved ones exiting the plane, and they knew it was only a matter of time before they were reunited.
"The anticipation of waiting for my sister to walk through the gym doors is overwhelming," said Rachel Leah Polzella.

The Warhawks conducted some 170 missions while deployed, ranging from security patrols, combat logistics convoys and quick reaction force responses. Soldiers worked at various forward operating bases throughout Afghanistan, ensuring their support was constant.

Guest speaker for the redeployment ceremony was Lt. Col. Michelle M. Goyette, 91st Military Police Battalion commander. Goyette thanked the Soldiers, Family Members and friends for the sacrifices made during the nine-month deployment. She spoke very briefly because she wanted to have the Soldiers reunited with their Families as soon as possible.

After Goyette ordered the unit to be dismissed, Family Members and friends rushed to find their loved ones on the gym floor. Kids and spouses shared hugs and kisses and some tears were shed in the process.

"Having my sister back is a great feeling," Polzella said.

Page last updated Thu August 1st, 2013 at 00:00