SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- Families and friends of the 45th Sustainment Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, gathered to greet their Soldiers in two redeployment ceremonies, Dec. 23 and 30.

The 45th Sust. Bde. had deployed for a 12-month mission to Kandahar, Afghanistan, to provide logistical support to units operating in Regional Commands South, Southwest and West in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Soldiers of the 45th accomplished their mission of providing support to commanders and giving them freedom of action unconstrained by logistics. They streamlined several processes over the course of 2012.

All of that hard work was the last thing on their minds as they saw their families and friends for the first time in many months.

"It's really good to be back," said Spc. Jarred Carter, property book office clerk, 45th Sust. Bde. "The best part is having all the things I missed right at my fingertips: my family, a real bed and the one thing I can't get anywhere else, the ocean."

After a long year enduring the harsh climate of Afghanistan and Kandahar Airfield's infamous sewage pond, coming home to paradise makes the redeployment all the sweeter, Soldiers said.

"Returning from deployment is always exciting," said Staff Sgt. Aaron Spencer, retention noncommissioned officer, 45th Special Troops Battalion, 45th Sust. Bde. "But nothing compares to coming home when you live on the gorgeous island of Oahu. I'm grateful to be back home in the land of 'Aloha Fridays' and blue water. I cannot wait to spend some long overdue time with my family and friends after all the support they have given me throughout the last year."

New experiences and growth, both as individuals and as a team, turned the 45th into a family.

"We definitely came together as a team while deployed," said Carter. "I feel like I learned a lot, as this was my first time deployed. The workload was more than I was used to at the beginning, but I stepped into it quite well, once I saw what we were accomplishing as a brigade. It was a definite success and makes me proud to do my small part for the operation as a whole."

After a brief speech, Maj. Gen. Stephen Lyons, commander, 8th TSC, said the words every Soldier and family member wanted to hear: "Dismissed."

Page last updated Tue January 29th, 2013 at 20:45