By CourtesyNovember 14, 2012
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - After nine months of deployment the Headquarters and Headquarters Company and 565th Military Police Company of the 42nd Military Police Brigade have finally made it back home to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Nov. 6.
The two companies deployed in February 2012 with more than 200 Soldiers in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. During their deployment they were responsible for the operating the detention facility in Parwan province, Afghanistan.
Lt. Gen. Robert B. Brown, commander, I Corps, was at the flight line shaking the hands of the 42nd MP Bde. Soldiers as they were getting off the plane.
"There's nothing better than welcoming Soldiers home," Brown said.
The Soldiers were transported by bus from the McChord Air Field and brought into the Wilson Fitness Center on JBLM through the back door and formed up behind a large curtain which separated them from their Family members.
As the curtain is being raised to reveal the redeploying Soldiers, the crowd began to scream with joy as they see their Soldiers who have at last come home.
"It's wonderful to have him home, we are so excited to see him," said Emily Brandsma, wife of Maj. Karst Brandsma, executive officer, 42nd MP Bde., who was anxiously awaiting his arrival with their 14-month-old daughter Lilly.
"These Soldiers for nine almost 10 months have been doing a great mission staring the enemy face to face every single day and doing it with dignity and respect and honor and commitment and courage. You should be very very proud of them, all of you the Families and friends of the brigade and the battalions and these two fine companies thank you for your support because without it we cannot do what we do," said Col. Robert M. Taradash, commander, 42nd MP Bde., during his welcome speech to the awaiting Family members.
The short speech ended with the command "dismissed." At that instant aoldiers and family members quickly scanned the crowd looking for their loved one. Hugs and kisses were being delivered all around; many had tears of happiness as they finally had their loved ones in their arms after so many months.
"I'm just glad I'm home, it's been a long year," said Pvt. Michael Shaw, 595th MP Company as he reunited with his family.
After hours of waiting and anticipating their soldiers arrival, Families are finally reunited and start filing out the gymnasiums to go home and enjoy some long awaited family time.
"This is probably one of the best days in the nine months that I've been in command when you get to welcome soldiers back. We're bringing everybody home that left and you can't ask for more than that," said Lt. Col. Shauna Hauser, commander, 42nd MP Bde. (Provisional).