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Thanksgiving late, better than never

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Posted: Wednesday, November 30, 2011 12:00 pm

By Rose L. Thayer

Fort Hood Herald

Jodi Myers decided to wait until after her husband, Spc. Clifton Myers, arrived home from his deployment to Iraq with Special Troops Battalion, 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command, to host about 20 members of their family for Thanksgiving Monday.

"We both love family," said Jodi Myers, while waiting for her husband to arrive during a redeployment ceremony at Abrams Physical Fitness Center that morning.

Clifton Myers was one of more than 100 soldiers from the sustainment brigade to return to Fort Hood earlier than expected, following the announcement of the end of military operations in Iraq.

"I'm just happy being home," he said after receiving a warm welcome from his family. "I have a brand new house I've never even seen before."

The brigade left in February for Contingency Operating Base Adder in southern Iraq with the responsibility of sustaining U.S. forces in the country, all while assisting in the drawdown of equipment, said Lt. Col. Bob Villalobos, brigade deputy commanding officer. They expected to be gone for a full year.

"You can imagine the amount of stuff accumulated over eight years of war," he said. Some battalions within the brigade were responsible for taking equipment from soldiers as they crossed out of Iraq into Kuwait.

"Soldiers had a sense of history. They could feel like they were a part of something," he said.

This was Villalobos' fourth deployment to the country. He said the biggest difference was that this time, instead of passing their job to the next sustainment brigade, they completed the task.

"There's nobody to hand the job off to," he said. "After eight years of doing that, we were the last ones."

Despite being away from home, Villalobos said soldiers never felt alone because of the support they received from the Central Texas community.

"There were constant messages and letters," he said. "They were with us the whole time. I just want to say thanks."

Contact Rose L. Thayer at rthayer@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7463.

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