Fort Drum— This past Friday at approximately 3:30 p.m., loved ones and family members gathered together at the Monti Physical Fitness Center to welcome home members of the 548th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion.
Soldiers returned home after 9 months from Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom where they provided logistical, supply and convoy support to several regions in theater. Many of these returning soldiers have served numerous deployments.
ABC50 spoke with the Church family, who stated that their soldier had roughly 12 deployments under his belt. While the Huffman family was glad to have their soldier home, after he served 6 deployments. Although only a 9 month deployment rather than the usual 1 year, all deployed soldiers were not able to take 2 weeks of vacation. The recent 9 month deployments are now the standard and it excludes vacation or breaks.
While, some families were veterans, having supported their soldier through numerous deployments, some loved ones experienced it for the first time. Mrs. Raven Lais was only married a few short months, before her husband deployed to Afghanistan. This deployment was their first deployment, as Mrs. Lais expressed- “This is our first and hopefully, last deployment."
Major General Townsend thanked the 548th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion for providing mission command for seven separate companies and detachments. The battalion equally oversaw daily convoy operations with a 200 sustainment combat logistics patrols measuring 27,500,000 miles and sustainment stocks to areas expanding 47,000 square miles.
Major General Townsend instructed returning soldiers, “As you enjoy your block leave with your families, the most important thing is to return safe and be safe.” Family members and loved ones were ecstatic to have their soldier’s home safely.