Elements of Task Force Thunder redeploy to Fort Bragg
July 29, 2011
FORT BRAGG, N.C. - Hundreds of Family members, friends and supporters of the 519th Military Intelligence Battalion waited and held their collective breaths as the sun rose and their Soldiers marched onto the parade field on Friday, after a year deployed in Afghanistan.
The 519th MI Bn. redeployment is the second of five redeployments for the 525th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade. The battalion arrived Friday morning at the Raleigh/Durham Airport and were bused to Fort Bragg where they marched onto the field where their loved ones waited anxiously.
After a short ceremony including an invocation and the playing of the national anthem, Maj. Gen. Rodney Anderson, deputy commanding general of the XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg welcomed the 519th MI Bn. home and congratulated them on a job well done.
“Task Force Thunder established an unsurpassed record of excellence in their support of Regional Command East,” Anderson said. “The XVIII Airborne Corps couldn’t be prouder of Task Force Thunder. We’re glad to have them home.”
Missy Ehrenbeit, her 5-year-old daughter Alex and her 8-year-old son Dakota waited anxiously, but patiently for their Soldier, Capt. Cameron Ehrenbeit, on the parade ground in the early morning.
“Words cannot express how happy and excited I am,” Missy said. “He’s my best friend and my hero.”
Five-year-old Alex and her big brother held a sign welcoming their father home, expressing their excitement to anyone who would listen.
“We’re really excited,” Dakota said.
“We miss daddy,” Alex said.
Missy shared her children’s joy.
“I just can’t wait,” she said. “They’ve been gone for a year and we’ve been hoping and praying.”
When the buses pulled into sight for the first time, a charge of energy ran through the crowd followed by cheers.
“I’ve got butterflies,” Missy said.
After saluting the 519th MI Bn. and welcoming them home, Anderson gave the command for the Soldiers to be released to their Families and the two sides of the parade field met in a rush.
Tears, hugs, smiles, laughter and cheers swept through the crowd as Soldiers were reunited with their Families, friends and supporters " people who stood behind them at home and looked forward to their safe return.
“I’m just glad to be home,” said Ehrenbeit, surrounded by his Family.
Anderson made it clear that 519th MI Bn. Soldiers were not the only ones he was proud of for accomplishments during this deployment.
“Their Families formed a common bond here at home. They were a an invaluable source of strength for themselves, Task Force Thunder and each other " Army strong.”
The first redeployment of the 525th BfSB was July 21. About 45 Soldiers from the 29th Brigade Support Company were bused from Raleigh/Durham Airport to Fort Bragg and were reunited with their Families at the parade field.
The 319th Military Intelligence Battalion’s redeployment was tentatively scheduled for Monday.
On Wednesday, the 525th Bde. colors redeployed to Fort Bragg.
The fifth and final redeployment was scheduled to arrive today or Friday. The 1st Squadron, 38th Cavalry Regiment is set to redeploy to Fort Bragg and meet their Families on the parade field.
All redeployments were scheduled to meet their loved ones on the 525th BfSB parade field near Armistead and Lettermen streets.