However, the three local soldiers were not among the group of 40 returning Guardsmen because two are on medical hold at Camp Shelby, Miss., and the third returned by private transport.
1st Lt. Christopher Lawson and James Ledford are both on medical hold while Sgt. Matthew Cain came home with his wife, Misty.
Amanda Lawson, who opted not to attend the homecoming, said she was torn between supporting the rest of the soldiers and protecting her children from disappointment.
Lawson said in a phone interview that she visited her husband over the weekend and is very excited for his return home. Her husband has missed the birthdays of all three children, the start of middle school and recitals.
“It’s been a rough year with him gone,” she said. “Christmas was difficult.”
Lawson said she misses her husband more now than she did in the middle of the deployment.
There will be adjustments, she said. “We’ve all changed since he has been gone. We’ll have to make some adjustments. I was worried about it until I saw him this weekend, but he is not a completely different person and neither am I.”
The 230th Sustainment Brigade officially transferred authority of the sustainment mission to the 113th Sustainment Brigade on Dec. 27, 2011, after serving more than 10 months in-country.
During the deployment, the Tennesseans were responsible for coordinating and executing the final phase of the responsible withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq in support of Operation New Dawn. It was the largest logistical move the U.S. military has made since the end of World War II.
The brigade conducted more than 800 logistical convoy missions, logging more than 12.5 million miles on the highways of Iraq. Aside from moving the final pieces of equipment out of Iraq, the brigade played a crucial role in the complete withdrawal of British forces from the country in the early months of 2011.
In addition to moving the massive amounts of equipment that had accumulated in Iraq over the past eight years, the Chattanooga-based command simultaneously supported warfighters in both Iraq and Afghanistan through support convoy operations and resupply airdrop missions.
While stationed in Kuwait, the brigade held command and control over several transportation and combat sustainment support battalions. Transport assets included trucks and watercraft from both Army and Air Force units. Additionally the brigade was responsible for the management of incoming and outgoing mail into the theater, processing over 1.2 million pieces of mail. Not only did these units move the equipment, they also processed each piece as it arrived in Kuwait, bringing more than $1 billion back into the Army supply system.