Arizona Army Guard welcomes home last unit deployed to Afghanistan

Arizona Army Guard welcomes home last unit deployed to Afghanistan

Army Sgt. Timothy Matyas embraces his mother Laura Matyas during a homecoming ceremony at Papago Park Military Reservation in Phoenix, Dec 8. Fifteen Soldiers with the Arizona Army National Guard’s 153rd Brigade Support Battalion were welcomed home from a nine month deployment to Afghanistan. This is the last unit deployed to Afghanistan from the Arizona Army National Guard. (National Guard photo by Spc. Wes Parrell)

PHOENIX – Soldiers with the Arizona Army National Guard’s 153rd Brigade Support Battalion were welcomed home from a nine month deployment during a ceremony at Papago Park Military Reservation here, Dec 8.

 

Fifteen Soldiers from the 153rd BSB supported Special Operations Forces by conducting logistics operations while assigned to Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan.  The Soldiers were responsible for the movement of equipment and materials through the theatre of operations. The 153rd BSB Soldiers partnered with various civilian and Department of Defense agencies as well as Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard forces.

 

“The logistical dynamics of this deployment mission was very unique,” said Capt. Megan Butler. “The challenges of working in a joint work environment with all military branches created a dynamic that is difficult to mimic in training. These Soldiers were not only able to adapt to the environment but excel in any task they were assigned.”  

 

Collectively, the Soldiers of the 153rd BSB earned three Bronze Stars, 12 Army Commendation Medals, the NATO Medal and the Afghanistan Campaign Medal.

 

With the holiday season fast approaching, this homecoming could not have better timing for the friends and families of these service members.

 

“The timing of his return could not be better,” said Stephanie McGuirl, wife of Sgt. Mark McGuirl. “This is our third deployment, and to have him home in time for the holidays and our 10th wedding anniversary is extra special.”

 

Although this is the last unit deployed from the Arizona National Guard to Afghanistan, the Guard continues to deploy service members to support operations across the globe.

 

“We are so glad to have them home and out of harm’s way,” said Brian Davis, family support specialist for the 153rd BSB. “Working with the families of this unit I truly share in the joy they are feeling today with the return of their service members.”