DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Master Sgt. Magno Manzano hugged daughter Shalynn, 14, as another daughter, Valerie, 19, left, his sister Jhere and fiancee, Julie Ragasa, rushed to welcome him. He was among 114 reservists returning at Wheeler Army Airfield yesterday after 12 months in Iraq. CLICK FOR LARGE
Schofield welcomes 114 back to America
As they arrive, another group of 360 Schofield soldiers is headed back
STORY SUMMARY »
As 114 citizen soldiers returned yesterday from a year in Iraq, a group of 360 Schofield Barracks soldiers is headed there today to replace soldiers.
Former commander Brig. Gen. John Ma said more than a dozen of the returning Army Reserve's 657th Area Support Group were on their second combat tour.
Leaving today are some Schofield soldiers who are part of the newly formed 8th Theater Sustainment Command.
Other members of the command will leave in small numbers beginning this month to replace other units as they rotate out of Iraq through the end of the year.
FULL STORY »
Yesterday, 114 Army Reserve soldiers returned from a year in Iraq and 360 Schofield Barracks soldiers are headed there today to replace soldiers being rotated out.
The Schofield soldiers are part of the newly formed 8th Theater Sustainment Command. Others will leave in small numbers beginning this month to replace other units as they rotate out of Iraq through the end of the year.
DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Master Sgt. John Miyata gave his wife, Tara, a big kiss as they reunited yesterday at Wheeler Army Airfield. Miyata was among the soldiers from the Army Reserve's 657th Area Support Group returning from 12 months in Iraq. CLICK FOR LARGE
At yesterday's homecoming ceremony for soldiers of the Army Reserve's 657th Area Support Group, their former commander Brig. Gen. John Ma noted that the latest group of returning soldiers included more than a dozen on their second combat tour.
These are soldiers from the 411th Combat Engineer Battalion and the 100th Battalion who deployed to Iraq three years ago. Several, like Col. Justin Lee and Master Sgt. Henry Torres, were recalled from retirement to fill the ranks of the 657th.
Among the more than a dozen soldiers from the 100th Battalion, which was first activated in 2003 as a part of the Hawaii Army National Guard's 29th Infantry Brigade Combat, were Capt. Fouvale Asiata, Sgt. 1st Class Dick Matsumoto and Sgt. 1st Class Glenn Arcieto.
Asiata said his first Iraq combat tour was with an infantry unit -- the 100th Battalion -- while this time around he was assigned to a garrison unit whose mission was to support the 150,000 civilians and military personnel stationed near Balad.
"Last time, I spent more time outside on patrol a lot of the time," Asiata added. "This time, my job was to help manage the maintenance of a base."
The unit worked at Logistical Support Area Anaconda and managed the recreational facilities, processed more than 24,000 bags of laundry, supervised the preparation of 335,000 meals, coordinated the transportation of more than 62,000 personnel and managed the disposal of 600 tons of trash.
Arcieto, a Honolulu police officer in civilian life, was assigned to Tikrit in 2004. He said things felt more secure at Balad since it was "built up a lot more."
"It made my day easier seeing him every day," his wife, Sharlene, said. "He knew what was going on, and I could see that he was OK."
An awards ceremony will be held on Sunday at Schofield Barracks for the unit, led by Col. Stephen Nakano.