RENO — “Be proud of the place you live and live so that your place is proud of you,” is the paraphrased Abraham Lincoln quote Gov. Brian Sandoval shared with the soldiers and families of the Nevada Army National Guard’s 757th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion today as he spoke during a Yellow Ribbon ceremony that welcomed the unit home from their nine-month deployment to Sinai, Egypt.
Sandoval said the soldiers of the 757th epitomized the Lincoln quote and that the state of Nevada was indeed proud of the work they had done in Egypt and would continue to do in the state.
About 50 Soldiers of the Reno-based headquarters company returned home earlier this month from Egypt, where they were tasked to provide command, control, and administrative and logistical support to Task Force Sinai, the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) peacekeeping contingent in the region.
During their deployment, the 757th was stationed along the Egyptian-Israeli border where the MFO has been tasked with overseeing the security provisions of the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty that was signed on April 25, 1982, and to prevent any violations of its terms. It was the 757th’s first deployment.
The unit provided ammunition and explosive storage, postal services and chaplain’s corps and mortuary affair services. The 757th was also renamed as Headquarters Company, 1st U.S. Army Support Battalion upon arriving in Sinai, but today’s ceremony allowed the soldiers to re-deploy the 757th colors and regain the 757th CSSB name.
“It’s a great day for Nevada,” Sandoval said. “I’m really pleased and proud, and on behalf of the people of the state of Nevada I want to thank all the men and women of the Nevada National Guard for their service to our country.”
The Adjutant General for Nevada, Brig. Gen. Bill Burks, and the Commander of the Nevada Army Guard, Brig. Gen. Michael Hanifan, also shared their appreciation for the 757th’s service.
Cindy Smith, wife of the 757th’s Sgt. 1st Class Scott Smith, was grateful for the ceremony that recognized the soldiers and their families for their sacrifices, and was also appreciative of all the information the Yellow Ribbon Program provided, she said.
The Yellow Ribbon Program (YRP) works with families to educate service members and their spouses and children on the benefits they are entitled to after deploying. They also provide ways for families to cope with separation from deployments by jump-starting good communication between family members to ensure a smooth transition upon a soldier’s arrival home.
For Sgt. Christopher Moll and his wife Christina, who have two small children, one of the hardest sacrifices during the deployment was communicating while he was stationed more than 7,000 miles away, Moll said.
“The biggest challenge was just being away from my kids, and having to communicate with my son, being as young as he is, over Skype and watching him grow,” Moll said of his two-year-old son. “I missed a lot of the big steps. And with my daughter being nine, she is going through a lot of transitions, so she struggled with dad being gone.”
With the help of the YRP and other military support programs, the Smiths, Molls and the rest of the 757th CSSB can continue to work toward successful reintegration back home in Nevada.
“It is a huge relief to have everything back,” Christina Moll, Moll’s wife, said. “We’re a complete family again.”