White Sands Soldiers Return Home
Las Cruces – Families and friends awaited the arrival of their Soldiers who had
been stationed in Afghanistan for more than a year. A group of 49 Soldiers
from the 2nd Engineer Battalion were the first to arrive to their new
Battalion Headquarters at White Sands Missile Range today.
The Soldiers deployed in May of last year and were stationed at
Kunduz and Mazar-e Sharif Afghanistan where their mission was to provide
assured mobility in regional command for northern Afghanistan. The troops
that arrived were from four different units; the 40th Mobility Augmentation
Company, 595th Sapper Company, Forward Support Company, and the Headquarters
Loved ones waited for their Soldiers in what will be the new
Battalion Headquarters, recently built for the Battalion. The Soldiers
arrived at Biggs Army Airfield at 5 a.m. and arrived at WSMR around 6 a.m.
Though tired and groggy, loved ones and family members woke up extremely
early this morning to see their Soldier's for the first time in a year.
Maj. Tim Vail's three young daughters, Madison, Pamela and Reagan
had no idea their father was coming home this morning. Vail's wife, Rachel,
had kept his arrival a secret from the three girls telling them they were
going to show support for troops that would be arriving today.
"It's awesome, it's the sort of thing you dream about," Vail said
about his three girls running up to him and not letting go.
Pvt. Brian Doyle received a special welcome home gift when he was
able to hold his 8-day-old son, James, for the first time. Doyle said he
could not believe who he was holding and was surprised by how much he looked
"It still doesn't feel real," said his wife, Gail.
Since their deployment the Battalion has lost two Soldiers. Spc.
Brian J. Pedro, 27, who died on Oct. 2, 2010, planned to re-enlist with the
Army after returning from deployment and Cpl. Nathan B. Carse, 32, who died
on Feb. 8, 2011, was on his way to become an officer but wished to
experience at least one deployment as an enlisted man in order to better
understand his Soldiers.
The remaining deployed Battalion Soldiers will arrive in the near
future. An official welcome home ceremony will be scheduled at a later date.