FORT HOOD, Texas – Soldiers, families, and friends gathered in the early hours at The West Fort Hood Physical Fitness Center to welcome home their loved ones from the 502nd Human Resources Company, 4th Special Troops Battalion, 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) after a nine-month deployment in Afghanistan.
The 25 soldiers from the 502nd Headquarters Platoon were greeted with loud cheers as they marched proudly into the gym and held a formation here for the uncasing of their colors Aug. 19.
As the waiting families watched on, the commander of the 502nd, Maj. Jason Dumser, called the platoon to attention. He was joined by 1st Sgt. Terrence Brown to uncase the company guidon, symbolizing their return to Fort Hood.
During their nine months in Kandahar, Afghanistan, the 502nd covered a large area, providing a plethora of human resource support for thousands of deployed soldiers and civilian contractors.
“Their mission while deployed was to manage two regional mail distribution centers, two Army post offices, 10 satellite Army post offices, two personnel accountability teams, two I.D. card facilities, and the Role 3 casualty liaison team supporting more than 32,000 U.S. personnel across the area of responsibility,” said Lt. Col. Keith R. Kruelski, commander of the 4th STB.
Krueski thanked Maj. Dumser and 1st Sgt. Brown for leading their soldiers through a successful deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and highlighted some of their accomplishments in Afghanistan. A key accomplishment was relocating the Kandahar Airfield Regional Mail Distribution Center, providing a safer and more efficient environment for mail distribution.
“Their accomplishments are a testament to their dedication of duty, and I will always appreciate their sacrifices to defend this great nation,” Kruelski added.
After the traditional playing of the Army Song, Maj. Dumser dismissed his soldiers and they were released to join their families for the first time in almost a year.
“It feels great. I don’t think it has quite sunk in yet,” said Lindsey Dumser, the wife of Maj. Dumser, about having her husband home.
Solomon Ross, a Vietnam veteran and the proud father of 1st Lt. Eric L.Ross, the company executive officer, made the trip all the way from Jackson, Miss., to see his son return home safely.
“It’s great to see him back. When he left, we didn’t have any worries because we believe in God and He carried me over there [Vietnam] and brought me back … and He brought him back, too,” said Solomon Ross about seeing his son’s safe return.