News: Sustainers return to Hoosier state
Story by Sgt. 1st Class Jeff Lowry
INDIANAPOLIS – Approximately 200 Indiana National Guard soldiers with the 38th Infantry Division's Sustainment Brigade, headquartered in Kokomo, Ind., returned to the Hoosier state Thursday amid cheers and tears of joy at Decatur Central High School.
The first wave of soldiers deployed to Kuwait in August and a second wave joined them in January in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
During the deployment, the soldiers assisted with the planning, development and execution of reducing the sustainment footprint for OEF by consolidating logistical activity sites, managing port and vessel operations, assisting in the process of incoming and outgoing U.S. Army forces and reducing civilian contracts.
The brigade supported combat units in Afghanistan and also helped reduce the still ongoing operations in Afghanistan, said Lt. Col. Kevin Vedder, Lafayette, Ind., the brigade's deputy commander.
After serving overseas the Hoosier troops were glad to be back home again in Indiana.
"I'm joyful. I'm back with my kids and we can enjoy each others company again," said Master Sgt. James Thomas, Muncie, Ind., the brigade's operation sergeant.
The brigade soldiers will spend the next year transitioning to their civilian lives and preparing the unit for future mobilizations.