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Families, Soldiers bid farewell as 418th Trans. Co. heads overseas

Email   Print   Share By Staff Sgt. Jason Thompson, 13th ESC Public Affairs
June 13, 2013 | News
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Lt. Col. Keith McVeigh, the commander of the 553rd CSSB, farewells the 418th Trans. Co., as they begin their journey to Afghanistan during a deployment ceremony at the West Fort Hood Physical Fitness Center Monday. The unit, with close to 150 Soldiers, will conduct line haul of bulk and containerized cargo via tactical convoy operations to sustain coalition forces’ operations throughout Regional Command-West.
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Family members and friends sit on the bleachers at the West Fort Hood Physical Fitness Center to see off the Soldiers of the 418th Trans. Co., 553rd CSSB, 4th Sust. Bde., Monday. The unit, with close to 150 Soldiers, will be providing transportation support in Western Afghanistan. (Photos by Capt. Monika Comeaux, 13th ESC Public Affairs)
Families and Soldiers of the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) and the 4th Sustainment Brigade bid farewell to 136 Soldiers with the 418th Transportation Company, 553rd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 4th Sust. Bde., 13th ESC, during a deployment ceremony at the West Fort Hood Physical Fitness Center Monday.

The 418th Trans. Co. is deploying to Western Afghanistan to conduct line haul of bulk and containerized cargo via tactical convoy operations in order to sustain coalition forces’ operations throughout Regional Command-West.

“It is with great honor that I stand here to bid farewell to these great Soldiers,” said Lt. Col. Keith McVeigh, commander, 553rd CSSB. “To Capt. (Mark) Canary, 1st Sgt. (Carla) Glover and the rest of the Road Knights, you have trained hard and you are well prepared to perform the super bowl of your profession. Stand tall, execute mightily and return home the heroes that you already are.”

Since initially constituted April 13, 1944, the 418th Trans. Co. has served in combat operations in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Persian Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Although the unit has a long history of deployments, many of the Soldiers and Families may be experiencing an unfamiliar event. However, there are always seasoned spouses and friends around to assist and provide advice through the challenging times.

“Stay focused,” said Dora Middleton, whose spouse, Staff Sgt. Alfred Middleton, a truck master with 418th Trans. Co., is heading out on his fourth deployment. Dora said she strongly believes that the deployed Soldiers lose focus if they are worried about their Families, so the person staying home caring for the children has to provide a strong foundation for the Family.

She plans on filling the summer with fun activities such as going to the lake and visiting Sea World in San Antonio. Dora and her Family had a going-away gathering for her husband, and they plan to have a welcome-home gathering when he returns.

She plans on sending cards, care packages, exchanging emails and talking on Skype with her husband while he is away, she said.

McVeigh wished his Soldiers good luck for the deployment, and concluded the deployment ceremony with looking ahead to the redeployment ceremony nine months down the road.

“Everyone here will keep you in their thoughts and prayers as your mission takes you to the unknown, but rest assured, we will be right back here when you return, ready to welcome you home again.”

Editor’s note: Capt. Monika Comeaux, 13th ESC PAO, contributed to this article.
 
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