2013-12-13 / Front Page

Signal Soldiers welcomed home

By Capt. Devon Thomas
35th Signal Brigade Public Affairs

Six months after being deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Soldiers of A Company, 67th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, 35th Signal Brigade, returned Dec. 10 and Dec. 11 to Fort Gordon.

A total of 60 Soldiers of the unit returned to their families and friends during the holiday season.

The unit provided strategic enterprise network capabilities and services at six technical control facilities throughout Afghanistan, said Lt. Col. Calondra Fortson, 67th Expeditionary Signal Battalion commander. A Co. also made an impact in the drawdown of forces in country.

“Alpha Company Soldiers were pivotal in the closure of three the six technical control facilities, encompassing the retrograde of $10 million in excess equipment,” said Fortson who recently redeployed in September with 290 Soldiers of the 67th ESB.

Eleina Toomey, a native of Pensacola, Fla., arrived at Gym 3 two hours early before the ceremony. This was not the first time she waited for her husband and high school sweetheart, Spc. Joshua Toomey, to return from an overseas assignment. She waited for Toomey hours at the airport while he traveled back to the states from Kuwait in October 2012.

“I feel really nervous, excited, happy, and glad that he is home again,” she said.

Eleina kept constant communication with her husband throughout the deployment, while taking care of her sons Bradley, 5, and Blake, 2, at home.

“We messaged each other, used Skype, and talked to each other until we each had nothing else to say,” Eleina said.

Fortson also thanked the families, such as the Toomey family, of A Co. for their resilience and support.

“To our family members, our MVPs, thanks for manning the homefront and assisting each other,” Fortson said. “Mission success is never possible without each of you.”
First Sgt. Chandra Davis of A Company, 67th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, shakes hands with Command Sgt. Maj. Andy Frye, 67th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, command sergeant major, shortly after she disembarked the plane with Soldiers of A Company Dec. 10 at Augusta Regional Airport. Soldiers assigned to A Company, 67th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, returned from a six-month deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.Photo by Capt. Lindsay Roman / 35th Signal Brigade Public Affairs

First Sgt. Chandra Davis of A Company, 67th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, shakes hands with Command Sgt. Maj. Andy Frye, 67th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, command sergeant major, shortly after she disembarked the plane with Soldiers of A Company Dec. 10 at Augusta Regional Airport. Soldiers assigned to A Company, 67th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, returned from a six-month deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Photo by Capt. Lindsay Roman / 35th Signal Brigade Public Affairs

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