March 25, 2016 –
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – The lights and siren of an Illinois State Police vehicle announced the arrival of soldiers from the Army Reserve’s 814th Military Police Company, 327th MP Battalion, who returned to their reserve center Wednesday, March 23, 2016 from a 10-month deployment to Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
In the chilly air, the troops exited the motor coaches and formed a line outside their building before marching into the drill hall where family members and friends were waiting for them.
Among those in the audience were Mr. and Mrs. William McPherson. Their daughter, Capt. Ashana McPherson, served as the company commander during the unit’s deployment.
“I am very proud of each and every one of them (the soldiers),” explained McPherson. “From my (junior) soldiers to my officers, they all performed flawlessly.”
“I’m delighted that she is home again,” shared McPherson’s mother,
Cecelia McPherson, a retired Army social worker. “I’m very proud to have her as my daughter.”
William McPherson, a retired Army major with 20 years of service, was equally excited to have his daughter return home.
“I’m proud that she was able to go and take care of the mission,” he said.
Also in the audience was a young mother, Sopheak Som, and her 11-month-old son, Ezra, quietly awaiting the arrival of Staff Sgt. Michael Cover.
“I’m really happy. I’m really speechless,” explained the joyous mom who will soon be married to Cover. The evidence of her soldier’s sacrifice, in terms of time away from the family, was expressed by her tears.
“I missed him (Cover) seeing every one of Ezra’s milestones,” she said.
Now reunited with his young family, Cover looked towards their future.
“We have a lot of plans. It’s great to be back,” he said. “It’s an awesome feeling.”