Celebratory Weekend for 1430th

Soldiers from the Michigan National Guard 1430th Engineer company have been home for nearly four months.

But today, they kicked off a celebratory weekend where they’re reunited for the final time before moving on to other units and jobs.

Maj. Scott Etelamaki says that before they say goodbye, the soldiers must complete a post-deployment health assessment.

He says the assessment is a follow-up to the medical screenings that were done when the soldiers returned to Fort Dix, New Jersey right after they returned from their deployment.

The troops were given tuberculosis shots as well as a medical screening from a physician.

The soldiers also had the chance to meet with various veteran agencies and hospitals that can help them cope with the re-adjustment to civilian life.

Spc. Joshua Bean, a veteran of four tours, says things have certainly changed.

He says he didn’t have anywhere near this many services and avenues of help available to him when he came back from his first tour, and he’s grateful that the help is available now.

The weekend continues with a freedom salute celebration at Lakeview School in Negaunee tomorrow at 9 am, followed by a military ball tomorrow night in Marquette.

The 164 soldiers were part of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

Posted by: Mike Hoey