News: 76th Soldiers back in Hoosier country
Story by Spc. William Henry
By Spc. William E. Henry
Indiana Army National Guard
INDIANAPOLIS – More than 300 Hoosier citizen-soldiers with the 76th Infantry Brigade Combat Team arrived at Indiana National Guard headquarters at Stout Field Indianapolis Saturday morning, Nov. 29, after serving in Iraq.
Soldiers with Company D, 1st Battalion, 151st Infantry; Headquarters and Headquarters, 1st Battalion, 293rd Infantry; 1638th Transportation Company and Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 151st Infantry were among those units greeted by family and friends at the reception ceremony.
"When I came in I felt almost colder than I was outside just from the chills from everybody yelling. I was so happy," said Huntington, Ind. resident Spc. Jarod Neukam, HHC 1-151, while holding his four-month-old niece for the first time.
"We did an awesome job," said Neukam of his unit's overall performance. Neukam explained that when his unit arrived there wasn't the best equipment to work with but they strived to enhance as their mission progressed. "The unit who replaced us, we gave them a 100 percent better work area than when we arrived."
"We missed him," said Terre Haute resident Michelle Pennell looking at her husband Spc. Garold Pennell, Company D, 1-151, as he held his two youngest children. "If it wasn't for computers to talk I would've just been lost."
Soldiers loaded onto buses after about an hour with loved ones to travel to Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center to turn in equipment, attend briefings and prepare to integrate back into civilian life.
This was the last large group of Soldiers returning to Indiana with the 76th IBCT. The rest of the remaining Soldiers will travel on Freedom Flights that will contain fewer numbers throughout the coming weeks.