Story and photos by Dustin Senger
Soldiers from 62nd Ordnance Company returned to Fort Carson July 20, after a yearlong deployment to Afghanistan.
Capt. Andrew Pruett, commander of 62nd Ordnance Company, 242nd Explosive Ordnance Disposal Battalion, 71st Ordnance Group (EOD), walked into the Special Events Center and reported the return of 37 Soldiers. The war fighters lined up for their formal dismissal, in front of bleachers filled with cheering Family and friends.
Brig. Gen. James H. Doty, acting senior commander, 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson, approached the podium and thanked the Soldiers’ Families for their resiliency. Next, he congratulated the explosive ordnance technicians for completing 877 emergency response combat missions.
“The evidence of sacrifice of these Soldiers over the past year is extensive,” said Doty, explaining that the 62nd Ord. ensured a safe operational environment for 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Inf. Div., in Afghanistan.
The Soldiers responded to 351 improvised explosive devices, as well as handled more than nine tons of unexploded ordnance and homemade explosives. Nearly half of the company was awarded a Bronze Star Medal, according to a 242nd EOD official.
Nine Soldiers earned Combat Action Badges for engagements with enemy forces; five received Purple Hearts for wounds received in the contingency area. One Soldier died. Staff Sgt. Matthew West, 62nd Ord., was killed Aug. 30 by an explosion in Kandahar province.
After a combined rendition of “The Army Goes Rolling Along,” Pruett dismissed the formation. Chi Verville advanced her two young children about 10 paces before her husband embraced them.
“They’re a lot bigger now,” said Sgt. Arthur Verville, 62nd Ord., with his 3-year-old daughter, Lana, playing in his arms and Arthur, 2, running circles nearby.
“Learn from other people’s experiences and advice and really take it to heart,” said Arthur Verville, as a lesson learned during his first deployment to a battlefield.