1457th Coming Home After All!

 

Written by Maj. Lorraine Januzelli

Published April 22, 2004

   

Two happy campers standing in their operation area in the Middle East.  These two soldiers will be returning with the rest of the 1457th in early May.
Photo from 1457th


Two happy campers standing in their operation area in the Middle East.  These two soldiers will be returning with the rest of the 1457th in early May. 

     The 1457th Engineers received an unexpected change in their plans today. According to officials at the Pentagon this morning, the unit has officially been removed from the list of units being extended in Iraq, clearing the way for its return to Utah in early May as originally scheduled. The change in orders occurred as a result of a review and evaluation of what types of units the Combatant Commander in theater felt he needed in order to accomplish the mission.

     "This announcement is good news to us and our military families," said Maj. Gen. Brian Tarbet, the adjutant general of the Utah National Guard. "The unit has performed brilliantly over the past year and we are excited to get our soldiers home."

     Fellow soldiers here in Utah couldn’t agree more. "I’m ecstatic. I can’t wait to see them again," said Sgt. John Jackman who was deployed to Iraq with the 1457th until November when he returned home due to a non-combat injury.

     Naturally,1457th family members are elated at the news. Many began receiving phone calls in the middle of the night from their loved ones in Kuwait.

     "I’m thrilled," said Alyssa Wright. Her husband, Spc. Jared Wright, called her at 12:45 a.m. to share the news. "He said that they just got out of a meeting, and it looked like they would be coming home in the next few weeks," she added. "He didn’t know why the decision had been made or how it came about, but it sounded like the powers that be, somewhere, said they weren’t going to be needed after all.

     Prior to returning to Utah, the 1457th will spend a few days at Ft. Lewis for out-processing off of federal active-duty. Unit members will then fly home to Utah to enjoy spending their remaining leave-time with their families and friends.

     Separately, a small contingent of 1457th soldiers arrived back in Utah on Thursday, April 22. Many of the soldiers had previously served on federal active-duty for airport security missions prior to deploying to Iraq and were close to exceeding their legal 24 month maximum.

     The soldiers of the 1457th served proudly and with distinction throughout its tour in Iraq. It received numerous accolades for its commitment to duty and tireless efforts on the war on terrorism.

Information from the Deseret Morning News was used in this article.