By Charles Melton (USAG Fort Irwin)April 30, 2011
FORT IRWIN, Calif.- Jaquelyn Troya's father, Sgt. Ramon Troya, wasn't there for her first day of first grade at Lewis Elementary School, and he wasn't there when her youngest brother, 18-month-old Jordan took his first step.
This morning Sgt. Troya and the rest of the 557th Maintenance Company returned home after being deployed to Afghanistan bringing an end to a year of separation from their families.
"I'm just looking forward to spending time with my family," Sgt. Troya said as he hugged his wife,
Evelyn, who was waiting for him along with their four children.
The hardest part of the deployment was knowing his wife was with the couple's four children all by herself, he said.
"I'm just glad to have him home. I still can't believe it," Evelyn said, as the couple's three-year-old son, Jaden slept with his head on her shoulder.
Now that her husband is back, she said the only plans are to spend as much time as possible together as a family and take a few family trips.
Jaquelyn said she was happy to have her daddy home and is looking forward to just spending time with him watching TV.
Unaware of the NFL lockout, when asked what she is going to watch with her dad, Jaquelyn said, "I'm going to watch football with him."
Sgt. Troya wasn't the only father being reunited with his children this morning, Spc. Arvie Ramos, the unit's guidon bearer, saw his 5-month-old son, Aeyden, for the first time since his birth.
"I took some R-and-R when he was born, but I haven't changed a diaper yet," he said. "I'm looking forward to learning how to change them."
His wife, Christine, said she's going to gladly take her husband up on his offer.
"The hardest part of his deployment was having the baby all by myself," she said.
When asked what his plans are now that he is home, Spc. Ramos said, "I'm going to settle down and start being a dad for the first time."
The return of the 557th Maintenance Company marked a milestone for Fort Irwin as its number of deployed Soldiers dropped to less than 100 for the first time in more than five years as the installation has continually deployed units to Iraq and Afghanistan since the beginning of the Global War on Terror.
During the deployment, the unit's convoy team completed more than 110 missions covering 81,000 miles and it completed numerous construction projects and support operations for units in Afghanistan.