FORT HOOD, Texas - It was an exciting beginning to summer for the Soldiers and Families of the 502nd Dental Company, 1st Medical Brigade, as the unit returned from Iraq.

Family members and friends greeted the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Soldiers and celebrated their homecoming at the Kieschnick Physical Fitness Center June 12.

"The Soldiers spent a year in Iraq, with the mission of providing dental services to Soldiers" said Staff Sgt. Douglas Smith. "They were spread out all over the country, from Basra all the way up to Mosul."

The eagerly awaited return was originally scheduled for 3:30 p.m., but ended up being delayed until that evening.

Family members gathered in the gym waiting to cheer for their Soldiers, who were immediately dismissed for the evening after getting off the bus and getting into formation.

"We had 49 Soldiers deploy last June," said Smith. "A few came back early for various reasons so 43 returned home today."

The 502nd, which is the largest deployable dental company in the Army, supported Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn at bases throughout the country.

They provided general and emergency dental care for Soldiers in theater.

Now that they have completed their year in Iraq, the unit will pick up where they left off providing the same quality of dental care to Soldiers at Fort Hood.

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