By Lori NewmanNovember 10, 2010
FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- Soldiers of the 418th Medical Logistics Company returned home to Fort Sam Houston Nov. 4 after a year-long deployment in Iraq.
"These Soldiers deployed during a very turbulent and ever-changing time in Iraq," said Lt. Col. Kenny Lemons, commander of the 61st Multi-Functional Medical Battalion. "They did their mission with poise, professionalism and dedication to all the units they supported."
The 418th MEDLOG Company provided direct support for Class VIII supplies, single- and multi-vision optical lens fabrication and repair, and medical equipment to corps, division and Joint Task Force organizations within the area of operations.
Carrie Baker-Wells, 2010 chairman of the board for the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and chamber president Richard Perez showed their support to the Soldiers. Baker-Wells presented them with Celebrate America's Military pins.
"The citizens of this community truly extend a warm welcome to Soldiers, because we know the Soldier goes farther," said Baker-Wells. "It's the Soldier not the reporter, poet or campus organizer who gives us our freedoms.
"One percent [of our population] serves in our armed forces to protect and defend the freedoms of the rest of the 99 percent," Baker-Wells said.
"On behalf of the seventh largest city in the nation, we are grateful for your service and your unwavering loyalty to our country. We salute your noble service."
"I think it was good for the chamber of commerce to come out because they are actually acknowledging that there is a military base, there are Soldiers here and they appreciate us," said Master Sgt. Lamont Crosby. "We thank people who thank us and acknowledge that Soldiers are people and that we are part of the community."
Although the Soldiers arrived home the day before, there was a plethora of signs, hugs and excitement as the Soldiers left the stage to be greeted by Family and friends.
Upon his return from Iraq, Capt. Daryl Hopkins proposed to his girlfriend, Amanda Block.
"I told her it was going to be a hard year, but if she stuck with me, I'd marry her," Hopkins said.
"I'm keeping up my end of that promise."
Staff Sgt. Roberto Figueroa came home to see his 4-month-old daughter, Gabriela, for the first time.
"I've been waiting a long year to be with her, so I was kind of anxious and nervous," Figueroa said.
"I just thought about the long days my wife had by herself with the baby. It was very demanding on her. I'm just glad to be home to help her out and spend some quality time with them."
Capt. Francisco Gumataotao the company commander also arrived home to a new baby, Francisco IV, who was named after him. But it was his 5-year-old daughter, Tasi, who showered him with kisses, saying, "I love you, daddy."