Fort Rucker welcomes MPs home from combat
From left, Staff Sgt. Robert Swanson, Sgt. Elizabeth Steele, Sgt. Torie Young and Staff Sgt. Steve Damron listen to praises from Soldiers and Families during a welcome home ceremony Saturday. Members of the 6th MP Detachment returned home from a yearlong tour in Iraq. Swanson described their mission of providing basic law enforcement at Camp Taji as really successful.

FORT RUCKER, Ala.--Fellow unit members and Families applauded four 6th Military Police (MP) Detachment Soldiers during a rousing welcome home ceremony at Bldg. 4910 after the Soldiers returned Saturday from a one-year Iraq tour.

"They supported Operation Iraqi Freedom. Day in and day out, they endured the most arduous combat conditions," 1st Battalion, 13th Aviation Regiment Commander Lt. Col. Shawn Prickett said.

Staff sergeants Robert Swanson and Steve Damron and sergeants Torie Young and Elizabeth Steele, assigned to 252nd MP Company, Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., performed basic law enforcement at Camp Taji, Iraq. Capt. David LeMay, 6th MP commander, said the force also enacted duties outlined in the base's force protection plan when the installation received enemy fire.

Damron cited shoplifting at the Post Exchange and traffic violations as examples of violations they encountered. Young said he investigated a traffic fatality and two murders while in the Middle East.

Young said he will instruct other MPs who may deploy later to Iraq to be patient while learning the language and cultural barriers.

While Swanson busily served his country, his life changed stateside. According to his wife, Emily, they got engaged in October 2008 through phone and e-mail communication while Robert was in Iraq.

When Robert returned home on emergency leave in March, they got married and will have their first child soon.

Robert said his new Family status helped time pass quickly, but for Emily, the changes made an already tough deployment more difficult for her, she said.

Damron completed his fifth deployment, but for wife, Ruth, his time spent away from home does not get any easier each time he leaves. "You have everything on you. You've got the bills, the kids and the home to take care of, and it's normally split between two people," she said.

Fellow Soldiers and Families were happy the four returned home safely. "It's good to be home. It's good to be on American soil," Staff Sgt. Damron said. "It's good that he's safe," Ruth added.

Page last updated Thu July 23rd, 2009 at 13:49