Units made the 19-hour plane ride from the Afghanistan and will now check in equipment, be debriefed and begin the transition back to life in the good ole U.S. of A.
A few officers and enlisted men are still doing something close to rear-guard action, but we are proud to say they will soon be safe at home, too.
Safe is a word we take for granted in this country.
There are no IEDs (improvised explosive devices) along the streets we drive. Snipers are confined to those crazies who occasionally crop up in metropolitan areas. We sleep safely in our beds at night without fear of insurgents attacking our town or home and indiscriminately hurting our family or our neighbors.
A quick look at video from just about anywhere in the Middle East shows some parts of the world are still very dangerous places. Millions wake up each morning wondering if a bomb or bullet will touch them or their family today.
That lifestyle, that type of fear is foreign to residents of Chickasaw County.
And we have men in uniform to thank for that.
The 858thth loaded up 11-months ago to do their duty for their country.
And the price of helping keep this country safe has been costly. They have been away from growing children and loving spouses and family for almost a year. They have given up a part of their life for us.
They say military engineers are the first in and the last out of a war zone. They also say no one loves peace more than a soldier. We all hope things are winding down in Afghanistan.
We don’t think it was coincidence that they landed at Tupelo Regional Airport on the eve or July 4. You see, American’s don’t fight for money, oil or land, but they will fight for freedom.
We hope Houston, Okolona, Houlka, Woodland and even places like Pyland, Buena Vista and Sparta will realize what our soldiers have done over the past 11-months.
You sleep safe tonight because men and women from the 858th are willing to stand their watch for you and your country.