By Sgt. Ricardo Branch 8th Theater Sustainment Command Public AffairsNovember 3, 2009
WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD - Families, friends and loved ones welcomed home more than 100 Soldiers from the 8th Military Police (MP) Brigade Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC), 8th Theater Sustainment Command (TSC), during a redeployment ceremony, Oct. 16, here.
The Soldiers, led by Col. Byron Freeman, commander, 8th MP Bde., and Command Sgt. Maj. Norwood Patterson, 8th MP Bde., returned from a 12-month tour to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. It was the first-ever deployment to the Middle East for the brigade headquarters.
Brig. Gen. Michael J. Terry, commanding general, 8th TSC, addressed the anxious family members before dismissing the exhausted Soldiers.
"I\'ve got about 45 minutes worth of comments to make, if you all want to listen," joked Terry. "I know the only thing standing between the heroes on this floor and the heroes in this audience is me. So all I'd like to say is, on behalf of Soldiers and families in Hawaii, I'd like to welcome home Col. (Byron) Freeman and Command Sgt. Maj. (Norwood) Patterson, the Soldiers from the 8th MP Brigade headquarters, the Soldiers of the Special Troops Battalion and 3rd (Infantry) Brigade (Combat Team), 25th Infantry Division. Welcome home, God bless you."
"It's great to be back home, and I'm just happy to be back home and with friends and family," said Master Sgt. Andrew Shaw, HHC, 8th MP Bde.
The Aston, Pa., native was one of many Soldiers from the 8th MP Bde. who served in Iraq to further develop the Iraqi Security Force (ISF), and provide a safe, secure and stable environment for the Iraqi people. This development enabled the ISF to foster democracy and establish the rule of law.
"It feels like we did a good service to the country and people of Iraq," Shaw said. "We helped them get to the point where they can operate on their own."
The brigade assisted, mentored and supervised the Iraqi police as they achieved many historical milestones, including the enactment of the security agreement, the successful provincial elections, the withdrawal of American troops from major Iraqi cities, and guidance for the upcoming provincial elections.