INDIANAPOLIS – Select Indiana National Guardsman with the 38th Infantry Division began arriving home to Indianapolis March 31 after a nine-month deployment to Kuwait in support of Operation Spartan Shield.
The 38th Infantry Division left in May 2019 to provide a U.S. military posture in the Middle East and to strengthen defense relationships while building partner capacity.
Before coming home, all Soldiers spent two weeks in quarantine at Fort Hood, Texas, to ensure the health and safety of all Soldiers before returning to their families. Soldiers are being returned home in multiple iterations, and all members of the 38th Infantry Division will be returning to Indiana throughout the month.
“When you think about the whole process of leaving the Middle East and coming home, it took teams of people working around the clock to get us here safely,” said Staff Sgt. Jessica Teegarden, a member of 38th Infantry Division’s command support staff. “Their sacrifices made all the difference and I’m more thankful for that then any type of formal ceremony.”
Teegarden also expressed her thankfulness for Fort Hood’s staff ensuring their safe return.
These Guard members didn’t receive a traditional homecoming ceremony. Instead, loved ones waited in their vehicles for the long-awaited arrival of their Soldiers in order to ensure that everyone maintains the social distancing guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Gov. Eric Holcomb.
“This is definitely a different type of homecoming experience,” said Sgt. First Class Marquitta Newett, budget analyst for the 38th Infantry Division. “However, I do have a multigenerational home to include seniors, so I’m very grateful for the steps that were taken, so I don’t put them at risk.”