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 after a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan.
The 25 soldiers from the 502nd Headquarters Platoon were greeted with loud cheers as they marched proudly into the gym and uncased 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 ID 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 4th Special Troops Battalion.
He thanked Dumser and Brown for leading their soldiers through a successful deployment and highlighted some of their accomplishments in Afghanistan. A key accomplishment was relocating the Kandahar Air Field 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 said.
After the traditional playing of the Army Song, Dumser dismissed soldiers and they were released to join their families.
“It feels great. I don’t think it has quite sunk in yet,” said Lindsey Dumser, the wife of the major, about having her husband home.
Solomon Ross, a Vietnam War veteran and 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,” Solomon Ross said.