News Icon

News: 235th soldiers' return home celebrated at ceremony

Story by Staff Sgt. Michael BeckSmall RSS IconSubscriptions Icon

235th soldiers' return home celebrated at ceremony Staff Sgt. Michael Beck

Capt. Thaddeus Schmidt, commander of the 235th Military Police Company, South Dakota National Guard, speaks at the welcome home ceremony held at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center for his unit in Rapid City, S.D., on Dec. 23, 2013. The 235th completed a yearlong deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

RAPID CITY, S.D. – Amid the members of the 235th Military Police Company sat hundreds of family members, friends and community supporters at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City Dec. 23 to welcome home 124 soldiers from the South Dakota Army National Guard unit. The 235th just returned from a nine-month deployment to Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Today’s ceremony in their honor included speakers Gov. Dennis Daugaard, Rapid City Mayor Sam Kooiker and Maj. Gen. Tim Reisch, adjutant general of the SDNG.

Today marks the end of the third mobilization for the 235th. The unit previously deployed in support of Operation Noble Eagle to Fort Carson, Colo., in 2003, as well as to Afghanistan in support of OEF in 2006.

Family members were overjoyed when the buses arrived with their escort provided by the Rapid City Police Department, Pennington County Sheriff’s Department and the South Dakota Highway Patrol.

“It still seems unreal. It hasn’t quite set in yet,” said Sandy Crown, mother of Spc. David VanVleck, both of Hermosa. “It will finally seem normal when he is asleep at home tonight.”

The Civic Center theater was filled almost to capacity with family, friends and well-wishers throughout the ceremony.

Reisch spoke of reintegration of the 235th soldiers back into their families.

“A lot of decisions have been made while you were gone,” said Reisch. “I ask the soldiers to ease back into the way things were.”

The Rapid City and Sioux Falls-based 235th deployed in February with a mission to provide security for U.S. military personnel, installation and facilities, and to guard prisoners of war and civilian internees. The unit also trained Afghan National Army soldiers in detainee operations, security, personnel and vehicle search and entry control point operations.

Capt. Thaddeus Schmit, commander of the 235th, remarked about the recognition from the active duty headquarters during their deployment.

“The sergeant major said, ‘When I am asked who my best line company is, I say the 235th MP company,'” said Schmit. “The brigade colonel said, ‘I wish I could clone your unit and have five more companies just like it.’”

Daugaard remarked on the timeliness of the unit’s return in time for the Christmas holiday.

“The best Christmas presents are here two days before Christmas,” said Daugaard. “Welcome home.”


Connected Media
Images235th soldiers'...
Staff Sgt. Taylor Sperle feeds his daughter for the...
Images235th soldiers'...
Jennifer Loftin, wife of Sgt. Cody Loftin, reacts to...
Images235th soldiers'...
Sandy Crown, mother of Spc. David VanVleck, both of...
Images235th soldiers'...
Gov. Dennis Daugaard, governor of South Dakota, speaks...
Images235th soldiers'...
Capt. Thaddeus Schmidt, commander of the 235th Military...


Web Views
47
Downloads
0

Podcast Hits
0



Public Domain Mark
This work, 235th soldiers' return home celebrated at ceremony, by SSG Michael Beck, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:12.23.2013

Date Posted:12.26.2013 17:46

Location:RAPID CITY, SD, USGlobe

Hometown:HERMOSA, SD, US

Hometown:RAPID CITY, SD, US

Hometown:SIOUX FALLS, SD, US

More Like This

  • The South Dakota Army National Guard welcomed home six Soldiers from Detachment 48, Operational Support Airlift Command, Wednesday, Aug. 22 at the Army Aviation Support Facility near the Rapid City Regional Airport, after completing a yearlong deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
  • “Your soldiers are coming home!” Gov. John Hoeven announced today to a receptive audience of family, friends and fellow Guardsmen at the North Dakota National Guard’s Raymond J. Bohn Armory. He and Maj. Gen. David Sprynczynatyk, North Dakota adjutant general, announced the return of the Bismarck based Company C, 2nd Battalion, 285th Aviation Regiment.
  • Three soldiers with North Dakota Army National Guard’s 1919th Contingency Contracting Team were welcomed home to North Dakota this afternoon by family, friends and loved ones. The unit is comprised of four soldiers, each with specialized skills in planning, coordinating and issuing contracts for supplies and services required for supporting U.S. military forces in the field. The commander of the unit, Maj. Mike Lowe, of Bismarck, arrived in North Dakota last month.
  • The Williston community, families, friends and loved ones all gathered Sunday to attend a Freedom Salute to honor more than 90 soldiers with the North Dakota National Guard’s 818th Engineer Company (Sapper), who returned to North Dakota at the end of March The ceremony was to formally welcome home the soldiers who deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom as part of Task Force War Hammer from June 2012 to March 2013. They served as combat engineers, clearing routes of improvised explosive devices to protect coalition forces, ensuring safe movement and mission accomplishment.

Options

  • Army
  • Marines
  • Navy
  • Air Force
  • Coast Guard
  • National Guard

HOLIDAY GREETINGS

SELECT A HOLIDAY:

VIDEO ON DEMAND

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Youtube
  • Flickr