On Monday, May 28 the Formal Homecoming Ceremony for the 164 Delaware National Guard soldiers from the 1049th Transportation Company, headquartered in Seaford, was held at the Schabinger Pavilion at the Harrington Fairgrounds. The event celebrated their return to the United States while honoring the sacrifices of the American soldier on Memorial Day.
The 1049th Transportation Company provided tactical and operation distribution, truck transportation and combat logistics patrol security to over 25 Forward Operating Bases and Command Outposts throughout Regional Command North and East Afghanistan. The company completed over 249 complex short and long haul missions over 216,000 miles of some of the most dangerous terrain on earth.
Major General Vavala, Governor Markell and United States Senator Tom Carper expressed their gratitude to the soldiers for answering the call to service and thanked their families for their unconditional support.
“I submit to you there is no better way to celebrate Memorial Day than to honor these warriors,” stated Major General Vavala. “I thank God Almighty for your safe return. Today we are truly blessed to welcome home all of the members of the 1049th Transportation Company.”
Governor Markell had the opportunity to meet with the troops in Afghanistan in November 2011 and recalled his trip during the homecoming event.
“When I stepped off that helicopter in Afghanistan you shared with me such pride in what you had accomplished there,” recalled Governor Markell. “Most of all I will remember that incredible spirit each one of you had. I know you have been waiting for this moment for so long and I have too. Welcome home.”
The troops were stationed in Afghanistan since May 2011 and returned to the United States May 21, 2012. Thirty-five soldiers of the 1049th Transportation Company received Combat Action Badges, 12 soldiers were awarded the Bronze Star, 141 soldiers were awarded the Army Commendation Medal and 13 soldiers were awarded the Army Achievement Medal.