Brookville Veterans Welcome Home Returning National Guard Unit From Iraq
(PHOTO: Randy Becker, retired Army Major Post Adjunct, presented certificates of appreciation to Staff Sergeant Dan Emery and Sergeant Ramon De La Cruz.)
American Legion Post 102 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 204, of Brookville, hosted to soldiers who were able to attend.
One year ago 54 soldiers from the 665th National Guard Engineer Detachment left for a mission in Iraq. On Friday, area veterans welcomed their return with a special ceremony held at the Heritage House in Brookville.
The detachment participated in support of Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq. While in that country, the 665th focused on new construction and maintenance missions.
Sergeant Ramon De La Cruz and Staff Sergeant Dan Emery were welcomed to the event, along with their families. Other local members of the 665th but were unable to attend included: Sgt. Jordan Bish, Sgt. Allen Bowel, SPC Amber Rawson, Sgt. Josie Stitt, SPC Curtis Reed, and SPC Megan Nosker.
Many of the members of the two posts were Vietnam era veterans and remembered that there were no celebrations or welcomes when they returned home.
Commander William Littlefield of VFW post 204 recalled returning to the country after his second tour in Vietnam and being ignored. He said he is also a member of the Vietnam Veterans chapter in Clearfield where their motto is: “Never again will one generation of veterans be ignored by other veterans.”
Jefferson County Veterans Affairs Coordinator Krupa Steele, a ten-year Marine Corps veteran who served in Iraq, said she understands the transition from of deployment. “To the wives, I want to say thank you for everything you do. It is a difficult job.”
“I’m very thankful for everyone who had a hand in today. I’m just excited to be with my wife and children,” said Emery. His daughter was about 1 ½ when he left.
“I was a contractor before we left and I’m looking to take a position with the Department of the Army,” continued Emery. “I’m just happy to be here.”
Wife Ciera agreed. “It’s just a relief to have us all together again and it was a long time coming but we made it. The kids did really well I’m very proud of them. Luckily, there was Face Time and we are very fortunate to communicate almost daily.”
De La Cruz has been with the National Guard for four years and is still employed with the Guard. “I’m glad to be back home safely with my wife and kids after this deployment. The mission was satisfying and we were able to accomplish our mission.”
The luncheon was sponsored by the d’Argy Family of Brookville.
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