By Staff Sgt. Joel PenaSeptember 13, 2012
FORT DRUM, N.Y. -- Friends, Family Members and fellow Soldiers cheered Tuesday during a ceremony that welcomed home members of A Detachment, 33rd Financial Management Company, 10th Sustainment Brigade Troops Battalion, and 630th Route Clearance Company, 7th Engineer Battalion, after each unit's yearlong deployment to Afghanistan.
"Today we recognize that the Alpha Detachment of the 33rd Finance is well and back home here at Fort Drum," said Col. Christopher D. Latchford, 10th Sustainment Brigade rear detachment commander.
The detachment's mission while assigned to Regional Command - East was to administer millions of dollars that went to pay Soldiers, DoD contractors and supporting elements of the host nation.
"Truly, your job was outstanding, and the war could not have been done without you," Latchford said.
The 46 returning Soldiers make up the second wave of redeploying troops this month. The first one contained some three dozen 10th Sustainment Brigade Soldiers.
Twenty of the Soldiers who returned Tuesday were combat engineers.
"I ask you today on behalf of the 630th Engineer Battalion," Latchford said, "that you remember Pfc. (Jose) Belmontes; Spc. (Junot) Cochilus; Sgt. 1st Class (Bobby) Estle and 1st Lt. (David) Rylander, for they gave the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our freedom. It's only fitting that we recognize them today on 9/11."
"Let's also keep in our prayers the 21 Soldiers who were awarded the Purple Heart Medal of this same unit," the colonel added.
Welcoming troops home were several friends and Family Members, including those who drove a great distance to see their heroes return.
"We are so proud of our daughter," said Wendall Meyers, father of 1st Lt. Jenna Meyers, 33rd Financial Management Company, 10th Sustainment Brigade Troops Battalion, who drove to Fort Drum from Brookfield, Ohio, last week with his wife, Davetta.
"(We) got an apartment and all of her stuff out of storage and set it up for her," he said. "All she has to do is walk in."
Maria Negron said she felt a whole rush of emotions as she waited to greet her husband, Spec. Javier Negron, also of 33rd Financial Management Company.
"I'm so excited, happy and nervous," she said.
The Negrons' 8-year-old daughter, Cristina, also couldn't wait to greet her Soldier.
"I've missed my daddy," she said. "When I see him, I'm going to give him a big hug and a kiss."