SALT LAKE CITY – “Warning: My dad is home and I will run, jump and leap over you to get to him,” read one of the many posters waiting for the U.S. Army Reservists with the 191st Combat Service Support Battalion, returning home from a year-long deployment in Kuwait. Approximately 100 family members, close friends and fellow soldiers crowded around the arrival gate in the Salt Lake City International Airport here, waving American flags and homemade posters to welcome home their loved ones, April 14, 2013.
The 191st CSSB’s mission in Kuwait was to provide logistic and operational support to the deployed units in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. With the Army’s overall mission in Afghanistan changing, this deployment presented new challenges for the 191st CSSB.
“It was a lot and it was unique. We had a nontraditional CSSB mission,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher A. Beyer, the command sergeant major of the 191st CSSB. An ordinance detachment, a transportation company, and a quartermaster detachment that did aerial delivery into Afghanistan were all attached to the battalion, he said.
“We had a huge contract over there where we provided oversight of contractors, which took a lot of the soldiers out of the office and put them into warehouses. That’s probably where most of the juggling took part, that’s the nontraditional part of getting out there,” said Beyer.
The battalion overcame the obstacles of the deployment by maintaining high morale and unit cohesiveness.
“We had to shift with the changes,” said Master Sgt. Michael Coffey, the operations noncommissioned officer in charge of S3. “The team grew stronger as we went along the mission; everyone was helping each other out. I think the senior leadership, as well as junior leadership – squad level, stepped up to the plate, set that example of leadership, and helped lead the way for others to follow.”
Although the 191st is proud to serve its nation, the soldiers are glad to be home.
“[It was a] long deployment and I’m really excited to spend time with my Family,” said Staff Sgt. Krisee Casey, a logistics noncommissioned officer. “I love my Family and I’m grateful for the Soldiers that I served with and for the support that we got here.”
“I’m just glad he’s home. He’s my best friend and it’s hard being without him,” said Melissa Beyer, wife of Beyer. “I support him in everything he does. I know his job is important, even though I wanted him home with me, I know that I couldn’t live the way that I do if our soldiers weren’t out there doing what they do.”
One poster summed up all the joy, excitement and relief of all the Family members welcoming back their Reservists, “my hero is finally back in my arms.”