(TRENTON, Mo.) It was an emotional reunion with family and friends as the Missouri National Guard's 548th Transportation Company returned home from deployment on Saturday.
The soldiers were given a hero's welcome as they walked through the doors of the Ketchum Community Center on North Central Missouri College campus in Trenton.
Greeted with cheers, posters and the relieved tears of loved ones, the troops were addressed by high ranking military personnel like Missouri Brigadier General William Ward.
“There is not an individual in this formation right now that did not either join or reenlist in this unit or in the Missouri National Guard, United States of America Army, without knowing that this country was at war,” Ward said.
While fighting the war on terrorism, the company delivered to various units throughout the middle east, providing vital supplies like water, food and ammunition.
“I was very fortunate to be the commander of the 548th Transportation company. These soldiers performed beyond any expectation that I could have imagined,” Perkins said.
The unit completed over 1,000 missions, spanning over 550,000 miles during their time in Kuwait. The unit also established a maintenance program that resulted in taking an exhausted fleet of vehicles from 35 percent readiness to beyond 90 percent readiness, which is one of the highest readiness rates the fleet had in many years.
Perkins said he takes pride in the accomplishments of his unit and the ability to bring them home safely.
“It’s an incredible feeling not only to serve with them, but to also get the opportunity to come home and release them back to their families,” Perkins said.
Perkins was greeted by his family and hopes all soldiers from company 548 will take the time to relax and enjoy time with their families as well.
“I am going to relax and I hope all my soldiers take the opportunity to do the same," Perkins said. "They’ve worked very hard for a week shy of a year and the definitely have earned the opportunity to relax."