Welcome to my random muses of being an aspiring banjo player, a Battalion Commander, a student of Army War College, and my admiring observations of Soldiers. It's all to the tune of yet another deployment to this country called Iraq.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Welcome Home Warrior Citizens!

"I have no other view than to promote the public good, and am unambitious of honors not founded in the approbation of my Country" - George Washington

Coming home from a deployment can be equated to the quarantine that astronauts would be placed in upon returning from the moon. For the Soldiers of the 275th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, that place of quarantine was Fort Dix, NJ. It isn't exactly the "garden spot" of the Army - or of New Jersey for that matter. But it served the necessary purpose of demobilization for everyone. The 275th CSSB arrived at Fort Dix early on the morning of December 23, 2011. This meant that nobody at the demobilization center would be working over the Christmas holiday. As such, we were all sent on a 4-day pass. Most of the Soldiers went home for Christmas. Some of us stayed local in places like nearby Philadelphia. On the 28th we all returned to Fort Dix to begin the demobilization process. This consists of a assembly line of stations where everyone is cleared for medical, dental, behavioral health, and administrative records. A few of the Soldiers took longer than others due primarily to medical issues. For the most part though, everyone was complete by the first week of January.

On January 5, 2012 we loaded on buses and headed south to Fort Lee, VA. We were going home for good. Once we arrived at Fort Lee we began the final phase, known as "home station demobilization." The culmination of this would be our Welcome Home Warrior Citizen Ceremony. Our ceremony was held on January 8th at the Army Logistics University on Fort Lee. It was an amazing and truly fitting ceremony to honor our heroes. There were many VIP's in attendance - including three General Officers, several Sergeants Major, various members of the state and local government, and others. U.S. Representative J. Randy Forbes provided the keynote address. Television and newspaper reporters were on hand to record every aspect of the event. But the most important VIP's in attendance were the Soldiers and their families. They were the ones who endured the hardships, gave their love and support, and accomplished every mission. The ceremony was about them and for them. Now they were all reunited to share the pride in their accomplishments. The ceremony signaled mission complete and job well done. At the conclusion of the ceremony we held a reception. Then came the long awaited moment we had all worked for and patiently awaited for so long - we went home. Indeed our mission was complete. Job well done 275th CSSB! You have all earned the right to go home. Thank you for being a part of logistics history. We will forever be "Mission First, Soldiers Always!"