News: Independence community says farewell to the 1011th QM Company
Story by Spc. Hector Corea
INDEPENDENCE, Kan. – The 1011th Quartermaster Company, 89th Sustainment Brigade, under the 451st Expeditionary Sustainment Command, held a farewell ceremony Sept. 21 at Independence Memorial Hall in Independence, Kan.
Hundreds of family members, spectators, and citizens attended the ceremony to honor the 1011th QM Company soldiers who are scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
“We’re lucky to have the support of so many families and friends,” said Spc. Timothy Wood, an automated logistical specialist with the 1011th QM Company.
Various distinguished guests also attended the event, including two Kansas House of Representatives members.
“It’s been amazing seeing the Independence community respond to [the 1011th QM Company], “ said Kansas House of Representatives member Jim Kelly. “I want these soldiers to know we are here for them, and wish them god speed.”
The town of Independence said farewell through a multitude of activities in the days leading up to the ceremony, including a dinner hosted by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1186, as well as an awards ceremony hosted by the Independence fire department and local elementary school children.
“I’m just doing my service to soldiers just as they are doing their service to our country,” said Kathy Kelly, president of the VFW Ladies Auxiliary Post 1186.
“It’s been such a great outpouring of support,” said 2nd Lt. Shannon Cates, a platoon leader with the 1011th QM Company. “Just feeling the support of the families and everyone that attended makes you feel like you can do anything.”
The 1011th QM Company. will have much to do, including provide logistics support in theater for a variety of units during the upcoming deployment. Soldiers of the 1011th will be responsible for supervising and performing management functions in order to maintain equipment records and parts.
For Spc. Jonathan Lucerne, an automated logistical specialist with the 1011th QM Company, the upcoming deployment brings mixed feelings.
“I’m kind of excited and scared at the same time,” said Lucerne. “It’s my first deployment, so I’m not sure what to expect, but I do plan to gain Army knowledge and knowledge of life in general.”
The 1011th QM Company has performed well so far, and expects to do the same in their upcoming mission, said Capt. Richard Gimbert, company commander of the 1011th QM Company, and Hinsdale, N.H., native.
“I’ve got a great group of soldiers to work with,” said Gimbert. “And I look forward to a successful mission.”
While deployed, families of 1011th QM Company soldiers and the Independence community will await their return.
“We are proud to support the 1011th and wish them a safe voyage,” said Kelly. “And ceremonies like this make us proud to be Americans.”