A few families were treated to a brighter holiday than expected when 11 soldiers from the 90th Human Resources Company, Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Sustainment Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division returned to Fort Stewart the day before Thanksgiving.
The soldiers spent the past seven months in different parts of Iraq as part of personnel accountability teams in support of Operation New Dawn. The squads served at Baghdad International Airport and at Al Asad Air Base in Iraq.
“The soldiers did outstanding,” said Staff Sgt. Lewis Frazier, who served as the noncommissioned officer in charge of the airport team and the senior leader for both teams. “What’s even better is all of the soldiers who needed their promotable status received it, and all of them re-enlisted. Morale was very high.”
Having their deployment cut short came as a surprise to many of the soldiers, and the fact that they returned in time for the holiday made their return sweeter.
“I’m glad that she made it home in time for Thanksgiving,” said Sarah Perkins, who traveled from Augusta to Fort Stewart with her husband, Jimmy, to greet their daughter, Spc. Kimira Perkins. “Now we can have a traditional family Thanksgiving. She came right on time.”
“It’s one more thing to be thankful for,” Jimmy Perkins said.
Ratana Thompson said she also has big plans now that her husband, Sgt. Enrique Thompson, is home. In addition to going to Ratana Thompson’s family’s house for Thanksgiving dinner, the couple plans to make up for lost time.
“We’re going to do a lot of the things he missed out on while deployed,” she said, adding that this is her husband’s fifth deployment, so the separation was much easier than it had been in the past.
“We’re pretty good at it now,” said Thompson, who kept in touch with her husband through daily phone calls.
The teams that returned Nov. 23 were the last 90th HRC soldiers to leave Iraq, but one team remains in Afghanistan and another is in Kuwait.