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Fort Hood Press Center
DATE: April 2, 2013 3:28:14 PM CDT

Fort Hood Welcomes Home “49ers”

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Story by Sgt. Stephanie Woodson


FORT HOOD, Texas -- After a nine month deployment to Afghanistan, more than 50 Soldiers assigned to the 49th Movement Control Battalion, 553rd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) returned to greet their loved ones during a welcome home ceremony at West Fort Hood Gym Wednesday.

The 49th MCB deployed for a nine month mission to Bagram, Afghanistan, to provide movement of cargo and unit equipment around theater.

The battalion was composed of 19 units at 22 different locations around Afghanistan. 49th MCB served as a higher headquarters for all the movement control teams in theater.

“The battalion was responsible for about 90,000 missions that covered about 7.5 million miles,” said Lt. Col. Charles Blumenfeld, commander of the 49th MCB, 553rd CSSB, 4th SB. “We’ve got a lot of stuff that we’re moving off the bases, back to Kuwait or back to the U.S.”

“Seventy percent of what moves inside of Afghanistan, our Soldiers were responsible for,” said Blumenfeld.

This was Blumenfeld’s fourth deployment but his first to Afghanistan.

Thinking about the deployment was furthest from their [Soldiers] minds as they embraced their family and friends.

“I’m very excited that my husband is back,” said Maralinda Perez, waiting for Sgt. Yamil Rodriguez, a transportation coordinator with the 49th, “My stomach is turning flips.”

“I didn’t tell the children daddy was coming home today,” said Perez. “I wanted it to be a surprise when my husband woke them up for school,” said Perez.

Communication between the two flowed well during Rodriguez’s deployment.

“I’m happy Rodriguez is back and safe,” said Sgt. David Quinones, a bridge crew member, assigned to 74th Bridge Company, 62nd Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade. “He and his wife have always been there for me when I returned from deployment. I’m just honored I could be here and return the favor.”

“This deployment was happy and sad at the same time,” said Spc. Uzziel Valencia, a transportation coordinator, assigned to 49th MCB, 4th SB. “I didn’t want to leave my family but it’s something I had to do. Being able to communicate with them every day made a difference.”

“We came together as a team, stayed focused and used the time to better ourselves,” said Valencia. “Now I’m back preparing myself for airborne school in November and going to see my family.”

The 39th Movement Control Battalion out of Germany replaced 49th MCB.

On current plans for the 49th: “Family time and getting Soldiers reintegrated back into garrison and everyday operations back here at Fort Hood,” said Blumenfeld.

For more information contact:
13 ESC Public Affairs
13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Public Affairs
(254) 288-7342
(254) 288-6410
Bldg. 39009, Support Ave.
Fort Hood, TX 76544
[email protected]