About 3,000 Soldiers from the 33rd Brigade Combat Team were at Fort McCoy, Wis., for the last days of their one-year tour of duty. The 33rd, from the Illinois Army National Guard, demobilized at Fort McCoy with units spread out during a four-month period.

"We were made up of many different and separate groups," Lt. Col. Brian Sheridan said, "each group with different and separate missions. Our missions were all with training and mentoring the Afghan national police and Afghan national army."
Sheridan, the 33rd's demobilization officer-in-charge, has been at McCoy since July.

"Our demobilization at Fort McCoy was excellent," Sheridan said. "We were given outstanding support from the Soldier Readiness Center, Mobilization Unit In-processing Center, Volk Field and others to get our people home. Although we mobilized out of Fort Bragg and Fort Riley, our demob at McCoy was closer and more convenient to home. We used coach buses for the final miles."

"We are also very familiar with Fort McCoy, having spent many training periods at McCoy, and we will be at McCoy for training in June 2010," Sheridan said. "We very much appreciated the flexibility of scheduling at McCoy as our flights changed."

"The people at McCoy cared for us, individually and as units. We weren't just treated as numbers," Sheridan said. "This was the largest deployment of the Illinois Army National Guard since World War II. It was the fifth deployment for many of our Soldiers, they just keep volunteering."