Military Police Troops Land In Gulfport - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Military Police Troops Land In Gulfport

GULFPORT (WLOX) -- The plane landed right on time Thursday morning, bringing some anxious soldiers back to American soil.

Some 200-members of the 132nd Military Police Company, based in West Columbia, South Carolina, returned to a hero's welcome. They heard plenty of greetings from military VIPs, like "Welcome home warrior" and "Thank you for your service."

"It feels great. I'm overjoyed," said Sgt. Brenda Gustyn.

"Surreal right at this moment. Pure ecstasy really," said Cpl. Joshua Call. "It's good to be home."

The weary warriors spent a year, working in the some of the most violent zones in Iraq, including Baghdad and Sadir City. Their mission -- provide security for military convoys and train the Iraqi police force.

"VBIED is a Vehicle Borne IED, and it exploded outside of our station," said Sgt. Brian Bell. "It was mass chaos. A lot of causalities, so that will stick with me for a long time."

Despite close calls with homemade bombs, gunfire, and mortar attacks, thankfully, every member of this unit came home. Three members did suffer minor injuries.

"I'm extremely proud of them," said 132nd Unit Commander Paul Painter. "They went over there and did their job, and we came back safely."

With their mission accomplished, the MP's now have loved ones and home on their minds.

"Seeing my baby. I have a two-year old son, can't wait to see him," said Cpl. Moira Gee. "I missed his 1st birthday, and I'll be here for his second."

"I have people waiting for me at home in South Carolina, and I really look forward to mowing my lawn," said Gustyn.

"I just want to thank you, all of you, for doing this job that you did," said South Carolina Adjutant General Stan Hope Spears. "Your state and your country are extremely proud."

Before they can head home to South Carolina, the troops will have to spend a few days, demobilizing at Camp Shelby in Hattiesburg. Two other units came back on the same flight: Six members of the 218th Brigade Combat Team from South Carolina, and 130 members of the 3rd-144th Infantry, based in Fort Worth, Texas.

by Trang Pham-Bui

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