<p>WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD, Hawaii - Shouts of excitement, cries of joy, and thunderous applause filled the air as friends and family welcomed home the more than 150 members of the 25th Transportation Company, Aug. 14. </P><p>Col. Clay Hatcher, commander of the 45th Sustainment Brigade, thanked Soldiers and their families for the hardship they endured during their 15-month deployment. </P><p>Based at Al Asad in the Al Anbar Province of Iraq, the troops fulfilled their mission by driving 750,000 miles in more than 250 missions and transporting 50,000 tons of equipment and supplies, including freshwater and food, to troops stationed at outposts throughout the western region. </P><p>"The numbers are astonishing, and I would like to personally thank each and every one of you for a job well done," said Hatcher. </P><p>Zandra Kaaihue, wife of Staff Sgt. Diamond Kaaihue, a motor transportation operator with the company, said the deployment was tough on her children, but they created ways to deal with it. "I told my children that daddy's doing his job and will be home soon; we just have to pray," she said. </P><p>Her 5-year-old daughter even created her own prayer to bring her "daddy" home safely. </P><p>"We have family on the island and we're from here, which made everything a little easier," said Kaaihue, "but it's still a relief to have him back." </P><p>Other families traveled from across the ocean to welcome their Soldiers home. Sgt. Aaron Wallace, also a motor transportation operator, received a special visit from his parents, sister and grandmother, who came from Seattle for the occasion. </P><p>"We wouldn't have missed this," said Bruce Wallace, Aaron's father, who was previously stationed on the island during his enlistment in the Army. "I am proud of (Aaron) for all he has accomplished." </P><p>Aaron, who is returning from his second deployment, said he is looking forward to spending time with his family and enjoying the simple things life has to offer. </P><p>"I'm looking forward to eating some good food," he said. </P><p>In addition to their responsibilities in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Soldiers of the 25th Transportation Company continued to excel in other areas. </P><p>During the deployment, two noncommissioned officers were inducted into the prestigious Sergeant Audie Murphy Club, three roadmasters were awarded the St. Christopher's medallion, and one Soldier was awarded the Order of Samuel Sharpe for his excellence in the ordnance field.</P>

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16