Earlier, on 1/29/2021, the Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III talked with Indiana National Guardsmen during a visit to the U.S. Capitol building. (DOD photo by Air Force Staff Sgt. Brittany A. Chase). Now, many of the National Guard men and women have returned home from duty.
Nashville, TN, United States
Story by Lt. Col. Darrin Haas
Tennessee National Guard Public Affairs Office
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – More than 100 Soldiers assigned to the Tennessee National Guard’s 253rd Military Police Company returned home Wednesday, Feb. 3, after an 11-month deployment overseas.
“We’re all excited to be back home,” said Capt. Dana Shears, commander of the 253rd Military Police Company. “It was a great deployment. Everyone worked hard and we proudly represented the Volunteer State.”
Headquartered in Lenoir City and with a detachment in Bristol, the 253rd mobilized this past March. They were the first Soldiers from Tennessee to train and deploy in support of overseas contingency operations in the midst of a worldwide pandemic.
“These Tennesseans mobilized just as the COVID-19 pandemic began,” said Maj. Gen. Jeff Holmes, Tennessee’s Adjutant General. “The unit overcame many challenges as there were so many unknowns at the beginning, but these Soldiers were adaptive and agile and focused on their mission. They exemplified selfless-service and one of their most difficult tasks was to leave their home and families during a tumultuous time and trust us here at home to look after them.”
The 253rd Military Police Company Soldiers returned to Smyrna’s Volunteer Training Site at approximately 11 a.m. and were greeted by family and friends. After conducting a short in processing, the unit bused to Lenoir City and released to go home.
“I’m proud of the great job they did and all they persevered through,” said Holmes. “Their professionalism exemplifies the caliber of Soldiers who serve in the Tennessee National Guard.”