SACRAMENTO, Calif. –
Brig. Gen. Michael Dougherty, 335th Signal Command deputy commanding general, and Lt. Col. Stephanie Lee, 319th Signal Battalion commander, conducted a “Welcome Home” ceremony for Soldiers who had deployed to Kuwait at the California State University’s main quad, in Sacramento, California, Oct. 22, 2022.
Special guests who attended this event included Daniel Furtado, California’s Army Reserve Ambassador, Lance Izumi, J.D., California’s Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army, Kevin Spease, Elk Grove City Council Member for the 3rd District and Air Force combat veteran, and Chuck Jamison, who was a veteran with more than 30 years of military service and played the bag pipes at the end of the ceremony to the Army Song tune.
First there was the arrival of the official party. Then, the color guard, in their dress blues, shone the colors proudly. The audience stood as the National Anthem was sung by Spc. Naomi Taylor, and the invocation was given by Chaplain (Capt.) Richard Hultgren. All these ceremonial traditions were performed with ease and precision.
“On behalf of Maj. Gen. Tina Boyd, the 335th Signal Command commanding general, and a grateful nation, we welcome home the 319th Signal Battalion. As reservists, we’ve been told that it’s one weekend a month and two weeks a year, but we know our duty is more than that,” said Brig. Gen. Dougherty. “The nation owes you and your families a debt of gratitude as you continue your sacrifice to your personal life to ensure us and our allies remain free.”
Hundreds of unit Soldiers, friends and family gathered in the center of the grassy area of California State University, while community organizations set up booths and children’s activities for the children who attended this event. The signal battalion, with more than 120 Soldiers, returned after a nine-month deployment to Kuwait, where four different companies were disseminated to support military units throughout the Middle Eastern area of operation.
“Today, we celebrate an elite group of people on this special day. Our Soldiers embarked on a nine-month deployment to the Middle East and successfully took care of the mission,” said Lt. Col. Lee. “So, today we start a new chapter for the 319th Signal Battalion and we are ready for any mission to come. I also want to thank our community partners, distinguished guests, the State of California, family, and friends for welcoming us home with open arms.”
At the end of the formal ceremony, Lt. Col. Lee and Command Sgt. Maj. Norman Delise, 319th Signal Battalion command sergeant major, presented Soldiers who deployed for the first time with personalized, encased, American flags, and a yellow welcome home Warrior-Citizen flag. Soldiers who were instrumental in making this deployment successful were also given awards.
As a special treat, at the end of the ceremony, the Army Song was sung as Chuck Jamison, who was a veteran with more than 30 years of military service, played the bag pipes. The large crowd sang along, and a good time was had by all.
United States signal units provide deployable force projection signal support and rapid communications for the U.S Army, joint and combined operations. Since, September 11, 2001, the Signal Corps has been supporting the Global War on Terror, which has continued to emerge across the world.