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548th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion soldiers return home to Fort Drum

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FORT DRUM — About 60 soldiers were welcomed home Friday afternoon following a yearlong deployment in Afghanistan.

The soldiers, from the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 548th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 10th Sustainment Brigade, were responsible for moving supplies across the eastern and southern portions of the country.

Maj. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, the post and 10th Mountain Division commander, noted their mission included moving “beans, benzines, bullets, Band-Aids and bolts” and more to units in theater.

Col. Willie Rios III, the brigade’s commander, said the soldiers had completed their work successfully, and added the headquarters company had not suffered any casualties during the deployment.

“To get them back as a unit, it’s a great thing,” he said.

In the bleachers a few rows off the floor, the family of human resources specialist Sgt. Monique A. Lindo eagerly awaited the start of the ceremony in the Monti Physical Fitness Center.

Yvette Cameron, Sgt. Lindo’s mother, said she and her daughter’s grandmother, Gloria McPherson, sister Michelle Lindo and brother Ryan-O’Neil Edwards, had come together and driven up hours from the New York City area earlier that day without even stopping to eat.

“You have no idea ... it’s very exciting,” Ms. Cameron said.

With Sgt. Lindo on her first deployment, Ms. Cameron said, she would send messages to her on Facebook every day.

Also at the ceremony was Molly Roush, who waited for her husband, Capt. Patrick G. Roush, with her daughter, Elly, 6, and son, Kellan, 4, along with a few family friends.

Though Capt. Roush, an intelligence officer, had arrived on post and deployed only in October, his time away meant he had missed Christmas at home for a second time in his career.

Mrs. Roush said she stayed positive by remembering her husband’s deployment was a short one.

Finishing the ceremony, which Gen. Townsend described in his remarks as a “one-minute speech, two songs and you’re out of here,” the returning soldiers quickly were joined with their waiting family members.

Capt. Roush, who held up Elly and Kellan while posing for photos, said he was looking forward to being in the snow, since he previously had been stationed in the South. His children also reminded him multiple times that they still needed to open up Christmas gifts, which were waiting at home in Watertown.

Sgt. Lindo introduced her family to soldiers she had worked with overseas.

“It feels good to be home,” she said.

Ms. Cameron, admitting to her daughter that she had cried heavily a few days earlier while talking to family about the ceremony, said she had not cried as much on Friday.

“Only a little bit,” she said.

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