It was a long 12 months away from home for the soldiers of the 548th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion. After finishing their jobs, they're now home, arriving on Fort Drum Friday. YNN's Brian Dwyer was there for their warm welcome back.
FORT DRUM, N.Y. — Stepping off the plane the greeting for the soldiers of the 548th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion was rough with the wind and snow. Once they got inside, the welcome home was much warmer.
Several dozen soldiers of the 548th, finally home after a year in Afghanistan. The mission was logistics. They provided combat soldiers with anything and everything they needed. The soldiers covered 47,000 square miles and performed 200 operations.
"They kept our troops supplied with beans, Benzene, bullets, Band-Aids, bolts and everything a soldier needs to fight. They helped the Afghans as well," Major General Stephen Townsend said.
The ceremony itself was fast. The National Anthem was played. Townsend gave a speech and the band played the 10th Mountain Division and Army songs. Then everyone was dismissed. Soldiers and families together again.
"Happy to get some fresh American air again," Sgt. William Kellogg said. "I loved having my parents here. I couldn't have asked for anything more."
Kellogg's family came all the way from Dallas to be here. To say they were ecstatic would be an understatement.
"It's a very happy new year. A very happy new year for us," Kellogg's mother, Joan Wolman, said.
"It's great to have him back," his stepfather, Don Wolman, said. "We're excited and we're really, really proud of him. It's wonderful to have him back."
This family is just one of many who couldn't spend the holidays together, but will make up for that lost time.
But not all was lost. The soldiers did get what they call a pretty decent Christmas in Afghanistan.
"We had our "near" beer, non-alcoholic beverages. It was a nice bonding experience with the other soldiers."
Kind of an interesting side note to this event and how fast it went. When the ceremony ended and the families were able to rush out to their loved ones, and we're getting the interviews with soldiers and families, the fire alarm went off. Everyone had to leave the gym. It wasn't anything serious, but some were joking that someone somewhere wanted the soldiers to get home with their families as soon as possible.