By Sgt. Liane Hatch, 10th Mountain Division Sustainment Brigade JournalistDecember 20, 2017
FORT DRUM, N.Y. (Dec. 20, 2017) -- Family Members of 548th Combat Sustainment Support Brigade Soldiers clung tightly to balloons, flowers and homemade signs, sitting at the edge of their seats as their nine months of waiting drew to a close. The only thing standing between them and their loved ones was a speech by 10th Mountain Division Sustainment Brigade Commander Col. Shawn Schuldt -- a speech which, to their great relief, lasted all of 30 seconds.
After only a few brief words during a ceremony Monday in Fort Drum's Magrath Sports Complex, Schuldt cued the 10th Mountain Division Song and Army Song, dismissing Soldiers and beaming as they reunited with Family Members and friends at mid-court.
Earlier this year, the battalion's Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment set off for Kuwait, where its Soldiers would spend the next nine months conducting sustainment operations throughout the Middle East in support of Operation Spartan Shield.
"It was a very successful mission," Schuldt said. "Our Soldiers were able to provide critical supply to both special operations and conventional forces and were key enablers toward the defeat of ISIS in Iraq. It's great to have them back."
For each returning Soldier, coming home meant something different -- some rushed to parents or embraced friends who waited patiently in the stands, while others, like Capt. Sebastiano Nane, held their infant children for the first time.
"He gets to come home to a whole new experience of having two kids now," said Nane's wife, Jenn, holding sons Luca and Caleb. "We were fortunate to be able to FaceTime almost every day, but I'm excited for him to be reunited with Luca and get to meet Caleb."
One Soldier, Spc. Nadah Harris, command group driver for 548th CSSB, bade farewell to her then-fiancée, Sgt. William Harris, of 110th Composite Truck Company, more than a year ago when he left for a rotation to Korea approximately six months before 548th CSSB's deployment to Kuwait.
On Dec. 18, her return to Fort Drum reunited the couple, who were able to marry by proxy while serving on separate continents.
"It means a lot to be able to see my wife today," William Harris said. "They did great work out there, and I'm glad everyone was able to make it home and they get to spend this time with their Family and relax a little bit before the next one."
Staff Sgt. Yessenia Corey, a water treatment Soldier, expressed her gratitude and excitement to be reunited with her husband.
Although this was Corey's second deployment, it was her first without her spouse, which she said made the experience more challenging.
"I'm excited and nervous and just overall really happy to be back," Corey said. "It's been a long couple days of preparation and travel, and I love seeing all these people who have been waiting for us."
During the deployment, Lt. Col. Anthony Wilson assumed command of the battalion in a ceremony on Kuwait's Camp Buehring, with Command Sgt. Maj. Scottie Ingram assuming responsibility about a month later.
On Monday, Wilson and Ingram uncased the battalion colors, signifying that the unit is resuming its operations on Fort Drum.