FORT GORDON, Ga. - Approximately 100 soldiers from the 67th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, and C Company, 63rd Signal Battalion, both units of 35th Signal Brigade, were welcomed home with cheers and clapping as they marched into Gym 3 Wednesday, Patriot Day, in celebration of their return from a nine-month deployment to the Middle East where they provided communication support in telecommunication facilities and long-haul communications for U.S. forces throughout the theater of operation.
Spc. Victor Johnson, originally from Portsmouth, Va., said he was excited to return to his family.
“It feels like a dream to be reunited,” said the operations clerk who deployed with B Company, 67th ESB. “The feelings are indescribable. I feel joy and I am so glad to be back.”
Col. Robert L. Edmonson II, the 35th Signal Brigade commander, and speaker for the ceremony, gave a round of applause to the families of the 63th Signal Battalion, and 67th ESB, who managed the home fires while the soldiers were deployed.
Edmonson did not prepare a speech. Instead he focused on the accomplishments of the soldiers.
“The best news of all is that I have not even written a speech … (the ceremony) is about you, it’s about briefness, acknowledging your accomplishments and reuniting you with your families,” said Edmonson.
According to Edmonson the soldiers supported communication missions in eight countries expanding thousands of miles.
Operation Homefront, Quest Church out of Augusta, and Brad and Derain Roper donated linen, snacks, and soap. The 67th Family Readiness Group arranged the barracks for the troops return by preparing the beds and placing welcome home signs in the each room.
Also in attendance were a dozen Patriot Guard riders, who held American flags as they led the buses filled with soldiers from Bush Airfield to Gym 3.