Somerset rolls out welcome wagon for returning Guardsmen

Story by Sgt. 1st Class Michael Oliver, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs Office

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Savannah Mayer, sister of Spc. Steven Mayer, holds up a welcome home sign at a the Bravo Company 1st Battalion 149th Infantry welcome home ceremony in Somerset, Ky., Dec. 16 (photo by Sgt. 1st Class Michael Oliver, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs Office)

Somerset, Ky. – The Soldiers of Bravo Company, 1st Battalion 149th Infantry were honored at a welcome home ceremony at the Beacon Hill Baptist Church in Somerset, Ky., Dec. 16.

“It’s great a feeling to be back home to see my family and green grass again,” said Spc. Steven Mayor.

“It was tough at first to find our rhythm without him but I made sure that our family was good so that he can do his job over there,” said Whitney Drew, wife of Spc. Clifton Drew. “Perfect timing for my husband to be home, this is a wonderful Christmas present.”

Bravo Company 1st Battalion 149th Infantry welcome home ceremony

Spc. Clifton Drew was happy to see his wife Whitney and children Savannah, Aiden and Faith, during the welcome home ceremony for Bravo Company 1st Battalion 149th Infantry. (photo by Sgt. 1st Class Michael Oliver, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs Office)

The unit was part of the 149th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade’s Task Force Legion which deployed more than 1,300 Soldiers to Iraq last June.

The Soldiers of Task Force Legion were instrumental in enacting the withdrawal of troops in Iraq, conducting security force, base defense operations and convoy security operations throughout the United States Forces-Iraq area of responsibility.  The deployment of Task Force Legion is part of the largest call up of Kentucky National Guard troops since World War II.

Families and friends cheer on the bus arrival of Bravo Company 1st Battalion 149th Infantry during a welcome home ceremony at Beacon Baptist Church in Somerset, Ky., Dec. 16 (photo by Sgt. 1st Class Michael Oliver, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs Office)

“It’s been a roller coaster ride but I’m extremely proud of my unit to finished out that chapter in history,” said 1st Sgt. Alan Mayfield.

Since 9/11, nearly 14,000 Kentucky National Guard Soldiers and Airmen have mobilized in support of the Global War on Terror. The Kentucky National Guard has more than 1,600 troops deployed worldwide.

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