Soldiers return after 9-month deployment to Afghanistan

Photo: U.S. Army

More than 60 soldiers from the 524th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 45th Sustainment Brigade, reunited with their families Sunday following a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

The unit was in charge of sustaining U.S. and coalition forces in Regional Command North, overseeing more than 140 tactical convoys, 900 equipment/supply loads, and four forward operating base closures.

Hundreds of families flooded the unit’s parking lot, holding homemade welcome home signs, screaming, and waving as the buses arrived with their troops. Some of the smallest crowd members met their parents for the first time.

“He deployed while we were pregnant,” said Kristina Wellman, wife of Spc. Joshua Wellman, the unit’s chaplain assistant. “He was there on Skype when I had Evan (five months ago). We are so excited for him to get home and meet his son for the first time.”

Spc. Jose Lopez, an automated logistics specialist with the unit, also held his 2-month-old son, Peyton, for the first time. “Peyton is our first child, so I know he’s been counting down the days to finally hold him,” said Larysa Lopez.

The 524th CSSB is part of the 8th TSC, the senior Army logistics command in the Pacific, responsible for logistics and supply for land operations throughout the theater, including Military Police, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Army Watercraft, Dive and Engineer operations.

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