SAN JUAN, PR- Approximately 90 Soldiers from the 613th Military Police Company, U.S. Army Reserve-Puerto Rico arrived to the island, Jan. 15, after successfully completing their mission at the Guantanamo Naval Base in Cuba, where they operated the detention center for nine months.
"You have done an excellent job. You represent the very best of Puerto Rico. Your return today clearly represents the level of readiness of our command and the great support that your families provided," said Brig. Gen. Dustin A. Shultz, senior federal Army officer in the Caribbean, while addressing the Soldiers in formation, in front of family members.
For the Soldiers, the deployment represented a positive experience.
"This mobilization has been a valuable experience especially as a leader," said Sgt. Delwin Gonzalez, from the city of Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico.
According to the Soldier, who volunteered for the mission shortly after returning from another one, his family was also strengthen by this experience.
"As a husband and as a father, this mobilization certainly reinforced my family ties. I am very proud of serve the nation, of representing Puerto Rico, the command and the Garita patch," said a proud González.
For Patricia Diaz, the Soldier's wife, they faced the mission as a team.
"This mobilization was a big challenge. We decided together his participation on this mission, almost back to back from the previous one. We did it, taking into account the family wellbeing and his professional development as well," said Diaz, while holding hands with Gonzalez, his children, Andrés (6) and Alexis (1).
"It was difficult, because Alexis was a newborn. But we did it as a team. I was the support in the home front, and he served the nation. Together, with a lot of love and communication, we did it. I can tell you that we are closer now than never before. I am very happy now that he is back," added Diaz.
Shultz also seized the moment to highlight the importance of the families.
"Our Soldiers are able to successfully accomplish their missions superbly, because of the superb support that they receive from you, the family members. You are the strength of our troops," said Shultz.
The return of these Soldiers represents the high level of readiness of the troops assigned to the Army Reserve Caribbean Geographical Command.
There are approximately 500 Army Reserve-Puerto Rico Soldiers deployed around the world, in countries such as Poland, Honduras, Guatemala, Afghanistan, and Texas. Since 2001, the Army Reserve in Puerto Rico has deployed a hundred percent of its units, in support of the needs of the Nation.