By Pfc. Sean McGuire

4th Sustainment Brigade public affairs

The West Fort Hood Physical Fitness Center was the site for the 61st Multifunctional Medical Battalion and 21st Combat Support Hospital's redeployment ceremony Aug. 25.

Both units spent a year deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Families packed the gym late in the day, and they cheered as soldiers made their returning charge from bus to gym floor. They did so, in the words of Col. Bruce McVeigh, commander for the 1st Medical Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), "safe and sound."

According to McVeigh, who spoke with great haste and passion before each formation was released to waiting families and friends, the 61st conducted level one and two health service support and countless other variants of medical care.

The 21st did its part by running a hospital that saw more than 2,500 emergency room visits as well as thousands of outpatient and behavioral health visits.

"All of these soldiers before us today definitely deployed in a very tumultuous and changing time in Iraq, and they did their mission with poise, professionalism and dedication to the soldiers they cared for," McVeigh said.

"God bless you all for what you have done, and God bless this country that you have served so valiantly," McVeigh concluded, before delivering one final "Silver Knights!"

At the end of McVeigh's speech, with the 61st MMB's colors already uncased, the formations were released to their friends and families who had packed the stands.

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