A Special Christmas Gift: Thunderbird Soldiers redeploy
By Mr. Eric Hortin (NETCOM)January 6, 2009
FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. - More than 130 Soldiers of Headquarters Company, 11th Signal Brigade touched down at 10:15 a.m. Christmas Eve, at Libby Army Airfield at Fort Huachuca. "Thunderbird" Soldiers returned from Iraq after serving a 15-month tour of duty. Senior leaders of the Network Enterprise Technology Command/9th Signal Command (Army) and the installation, and American Legion Freedom Riders welcomed the Soldiers as they exited the aircraft.
After inprocessing, which included turning in weapons and other sensitive items, the Soldiers were taken by bus to Barnes Field House where family, friends and comrades waited. Escorted by the American Legion Freedom Riders, three busses with the Soldiers were welcomed by hundreds of well-wishers lining the streets.
Upon entering the gymnasium, Soldiers were greeted with a standing ovation by family and friends who hadn't seen the Soldiers for 15 months. After short welcome home greetings by Col. John Hildebrand, 11th Signal Brigade commander (Hildebrand redeployed with the Soldiers), and Maj. Gen. Susan Lawrence, NETCOM/9th SC (A) commanding general, the Soldiers were released to their families.
Tears flowed as wives were reunited with their husbands, and mothers and fathers were reunited with their children.
Soldiers of the 11th Signal Brigade... Mission Accomplished.