Story and photo by Spc. Nathan Thome
4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office
Families and friends erupted in cheers and applause as about 35 of their loved ones marched into the Special Events Center Dec. 24, after a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
The 748th Ordnance Company, 242nd Explosive Ordnance Disposal Battalion, 71st Ordnance Group (EOD), returned home just in time for Christmas.
During the deployment, the Soldiers supported more than 300 missions in 15 separate provinces throughout Afghanistan, as well as more than 250 training sessions with Afghan Special Forces, local police and commandos, and Civil Mine Reduction Group personnel. The company also disposed of 50 improvised explosive devices and more than 10,000 pounds of captured explosives.
Diane Theobald traveled from Las Vegas to welcome home her son, Staff Sgt. Ryan Theobald, explosive ordnance disposal noncommissioned officer, 748th Ord.
“I’m really, really glad that they made it back home,” said Diane Theobald. “This has been a rough deployment for them; they lost one of their friends out there. It’s just nice that they made it home, and hopefully it will be a long time before they have to go back out.”
Ryan Theobald reflected his mother’s excitement.
“I’m happy, it’s good to be home, and I’m glad that my mother is also here. I’m going to show my mom around Colorado, because she hasn’t experienced much of it,” he said.
“For Christmas, we’re going to be driving to Boulder, and spending it with my girlfriend’s family.”