Family members, friends and members of the Nevada Army National Guard had waited for this moment for 11 months.
Gov. Brian Sandoval, the commander in chief for the Nevada Military Department, officially welcomed home a company that returned home two weeks ago after a deployment to Afghanistan.
Saturday morning’s ceremony marked the reconstitution of the 593rd Transportation Company into the Nevada Army National Guard. The unit, with detachments in Elko, Winnemucca and Las Vegas, returned to Nevada on April 19. It is the only Nevada unit that has deployed to both Iraq, in 2006, and now Afghanistan. Its soldiers come from every corner of the state.
Sandoval, who delivered remarks on a cold, windy day May 25, 2012, at the company’s deployment ceremony, said he was one of many people who’d been looking forward to Saturday.
“We were able to check in briefly,” he said. “At the governor’s banquet last year, (which was held in support of the Family Readiness Group), as we were able to Skype some of you from Reno, there were about 300 to 400 people there strong and giving you a standing ovation.”
Sandoval said the live transmission from Afghanistan was both emotional and touching, especially for company commander Capt. Curt Kolvet’s wife, Kendra, who was able to see her husband.
“Not only do just the men and women in uniform make sacrifices for our country, but all of you military families do as well,” he said.
The governor commended the 127 soldiers for their service. He also saluted Sgt. 1st Class Heather Harris, who is from Truckee and lives in Reno, for completing her fourth deployment in a combat zone — three to Iraq and one to Afghanistan.
His comment drew a round of applause for Harris.
Before he concluded his remarks, the governor cited the leadership of Capt. Kolvet and 1st Sgt. Harry Schroeder for taking the unit successfully to and from Afghanistan.
Brig. Gen. Bill Burks, the adjutant general, recognized both the company and their families, calling them both superstars.
Spc. Kyle Freitas of Gardnerville, whose parents live in Carson City, said the Yellow Ribbon ceremony puts closure on the deployment. He said that once he arrived home, his parents took his family out for dinner.
As for Saturday’s ceremony, Freitas was impressed with the work that went into it, and the dignitaries there.
“It was awesome to see the governor and Gen. Burks come out,” he added.