2013-10-04 / Front Page

67th ESB Soldiers reunite with families after deployment

Wilson A. Rivera
Fort Gordon Public Affairs Office


Staff Sgt. Justin Scott, 67th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, is face-to-face at last with stepdaughter Madison Kennedy, 10, and wife Elizabeth, during the battalion’s welcome-home ceremony, Sept. 27. 
Photo by Bill Bengtson / Fort Gordon Public Affairs Office Staff Sgt. Justin Scott, 67th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, is face-to-face at last with stepdaughter Madison Kennedy, 10, and wife Elizabeth, during the battalion’s welcome-home ceremony, Sept. 27. Photo by Bill Bengtson / Fort Gordon Public Affairs Office Nine months after being deployed to the Middle East, nearly 200 Soldiers returned home Sept. 27 marching into Gym 3, full of other Army colleagues, friends, and family members.

Soldiers with the 67th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, 35th Signal Brigade, redeployed after providing long range communications for U.S. forces, and technical expertise at telecommunication facilities during Operation Enduring Freedom.

Families left in the rear stayed in contact with their Soldiers through social media sites and messaging such as Facebook. The 67th ESB family readiness group and unit rear detachment communicated and assisted families of the deployed Soldiers.

“Every deployment is a little bit different. None of them get easier,” David Fortson said, the battalion FRG advisor and spouse of the commander. “Every (welcome home ceremony) is always different and more exciting.”


Spc. Courtney Kimble, 67th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, shares a welcome-home hug with Sgt. Corey Bagley, 63rd Expeditionary Signal Battalion, during the 67th’s return celebration Sept. 27. 
Photo by Bill Bengtson / Fort Gordon Public Affairs Office Spc. Courtney Kimble, 67th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, shares a welcome-home hug with Sgt. Corey Bagley, 63rd Expeditionary Signal Battalion, during the 67th’s return celebration Sept. 27. Photo by Bill Bengtson / Fort Gordon Public Affairs Office When the military spouse comes home, it takes time to see the changes and growth within the family, he added.

Jason Grant, spouse of Staff Sgt. Jeanette Grant, assigned to Headquarter and Headquarters Company, took care of their two children, who believed it to be a tough challenge being the husband and father alone at home.

“It’s the greatest feeling like it’s Christmas, when I saw her walk into the gym,” he said.

The next couple days and weeks, Soldiers plan to take time off to be reintegrate with family and relax after their deployment.


Awaiting their release in a welcome-home ceremony Sept. 27 are members of the 67th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, with their friends and family members a few yards away. 
Photo by Bill Bengtson / Fort Gordon Public Affairs Office Awaiting their release in a welcome-home ceremony Sept. 27 are members of the 67th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, with their friends and family members a few yards away. Photo by Bill Bengtson / Fort Gordon Public Affairs Office “What we are going to do is take our time. We’re actually going to cook a meal together, talk, and allow my wife to take a deep breath, and let her find herself where she wants to be in the next two weeks,” Fortson said. “As a family we have our process we go through to allow not just us to get used to having our Soldier back, but to allow her to catch up to the routine that we’ve been in. Between her and us, we’ll merge back to where we were before she deployed.”



Home at last is Pfc. Shawn Saidel, 67th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, with wife, Rosa, and their 2-month-old daughter, Sophia, whose father was holding her for the first time, as he returned Sept. 27 in the 67th’s welcome-home ceremony. 
Photo by Bill Bengtson / Fort Gordon Public Affairs Office Home at last is Pfc. Shawn Saidel, 67th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, with wife, Rosa, and their 2-month-old daughter, Sophia, whose father was holding her for the first time, as he returned Sept. 27 in the 67th’s welcome-home ceremony. Photo by Bill Bengtson / Fort Gordon Public Affairs Office

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