Returning Soldiers Get A Big Welcome Home

More than 60 soldiers from the 524th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, reunited with their families March 9 following a nine-month deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Upon arriving in Afghanistan, the unit assumed the responsibility of sustaining U.S. and coalition forces in Regional Command North.

The battalion concluded more than 140 tactical convoys, 900 equipment/supply loads, and four forward operating base closures.

Hundreds of families flooded the unit’s parking lot at Schofield, holding handmade welcome-home signs and waving as the buses arrived with their troops.

Some of the smallest crowd members waited to meet 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 moments after he got off the bus.

“Peyton is our first child, so I know he’s been counting down the days to finally hold him,” said Larysa Lopez.