Welcome Home Ceremony For Deployed N.C. National Guard Soldiers

Raleigh

A welcome home ceremony for the soldiers of the North Carolina National Guard’s 151st Mobility Augmentation Company, headquartered in Laurinburg, was held June 21 at the NCNG Joint Force Headquarters auditorium in Raleigh.

Nearly 100 soldiers were greeted by N.C. National Guard senior leaders and members of N.C. government in the celebration along with family and friends.

“Throughout their deployment the 151st was highly recognized throughout Regional Command South for their outstanding efforts in training their Afghan National Army partners,” said Army Maj. Gen. James H. Trogdon, deputy adjutant general of North Carolina.

The unit, nicknamed ‘Trailblazers,’ deployed in June 2012 for duty in Zabul, Afghanistan. The soldiers executed more than 300 route-clearing missions across 20,000 kilometers of roads in the province. They found 32 IED’s using Buffalo, Husky and RG-31 armored vehicles protecting the lives of U.S. and Afghan military and local civilians. This combat experience helped them train their Afghan National Army Soldiers.

Along with Trogdon, representatives from the offices of N.C. senior U.S. Senator, Richard Burr and junior Senator, Kay Hagan and Mr. Edward “Sonny” Masso, chief operating officer of N.C. Department of Public Safety were part of the official party for the ceremony. The unit was showered with accolades and given the well-deserved fanfare and praise earned from a job well done.

“Your job was not easy or without great risk, and we owe you more than we can express in words,” said Burr in a letter read by a representative from his office. “Your sacrifice is greatly appreciated by our nation and we commend you for your willingness to serve when called.”

The event was part of the unit’s Yellow Ribbon program, dedicated to reintegrating service members with their families after deployment and to also advise the National Guardsmen about benefits and services available to them after their service.

“The Army, Guard and Country is proud of you,” said Army Capt. Tom Grabos, commander of the 151st MAC. “You did your duty and I am proud of everything you have done; we did great things over there.” For their outstanding performance, the unit earned 11 Combat Action Badges, six Purple Heart Medals and six Bronze Star Medals. The unit saw a great deal of action and successfully brought their soldiers home safe to their loved ones.

“A deployment is life changing but the best thing is to have someone to come home to,” said Sgt. Zachariah Quinn, a route clearance truck commander with the Trailblazers.

It was a special day for all who were involved and family and friends can celebrate that their service member is home.

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Contact: Capt. Rick Scoggins
Phone: (919) 664-6308

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