The Kings Of The Road Accrue More Than Six Million Miles in Iraq

By Pfc. Sean McGuire
Public Affairs Specialist
4th Sustainment Brigade

FORT HOOD, Texas — The Soldiers of the 180th Transportation Battalion returned home to their families in a redeployment ceremony at the Kieschnick physical fitness center Mar. 29. The Kings of the Road, as the unit is known, supported Operation Iraqi Freedom in both Kuwait and Iraq.

The 61 Soldiers who returned make up the battalion's headquarters element which falls under the 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (expeditionary) at Fort Hood.

According to Maj. Michael McBride, the battalion's executive officer, the unit was tasked with the responsible drawdown of a theater-level warehouse activity and the running of heavy truck missions in and out of Iraq. The 180th Trans. Bn. also ran U.S. Army vessel operations from the Persian Gulf to the Horn of Africa.

During the welcome home ceremony, Col. Ron Kirklin, the Wrangler Brigade commander highlighted some of the accomplishments of the unit during their ten-month deployment.

"They ran over 300 convoys out of Kuwait, delivering supplies to 20 forward operating bases in Iraq," said Kirklin. "And they tallied more than six million miles during those convoys and 40,000 nautical miles at sea."

To signify the unit's return home, the command team, Lt. Col. Robert Villalobos and Command Sgt. Major Vickie Hopson, uncased the colors before their formation of Soldiers and those in attendance at the gym.

Afterwards the battalion commander, Villalobos, shared his remarks and commended his Soldiers.

"I've only got one thing to say – boy are we glad to see you." said Villalobos. "They are all heroes and we brought everybody back."

After those brief remarks the Soldiers were released to their families who were waiting for them in the bleachers. One of those at the gym was Betty Parhan, Hopson's mother. She embraced her daughter with tears running down her cheeks.

"I'm so very grateful that she's back," said Parhan. "She's so dedicated to her job and I'm glad she's home. I hope she never has to leave ever again."

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Families jump out of the seats in excitement as the Soldiers of the 180th Transportation Battalion, 4th Sustainment Brigade returned home to Fort Hood in a redeployment ceremony at the Kieschnick physical fitness center Mar. 29. The unit supported Operation Iraqi Freedom in both Kuwait and Iraq during their ten-month deployment. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Sean McGuire)

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After waiting for more than ten months families jump out of the bleachers as the Soldiers of the 180th Transportation Battalion, 4th Sustainment Brigade returned home to Fort Hood in a redeployment ceremony at the Kieschnick physical fitness center Mar. 29. The unit supported Operation Iraqi Freedom in both Kuwait and Iraq during their ten-month deployment. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Sean McGuire)

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Family members look on as the Soldiers of the 180th Transportation Battalion, 4th Sustainment Brigade returned home to Fort Hood in a redeployment ceremony at the Kieschnick physical fitness center Mar. 29. The unit supported Operation Iraqi Freedom in both Kuwait and Iraq during their ten-month deployment. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Sean McGuire)

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Soldiers were flooded with gifts as the 180th Transportation Battalion, 4th Sustainment Brigade returned home to Fort Hood in a redeployment ceremony at the Kieschnick physical fitness center Mar. 29. The unit supported Operation Iraqi Freedom in both Kuwait and Iraq during their ten-month deployment. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Sean McGuire)

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Command Sgt. Maj. Vickie Hopson, 180th Transportation Battalion, 4th Sustainment Brigade, bows her head during her unit's redeployment ceremony Mar. 29 at Fort Hood's Kieschnick physical fitness center Mar. 29. The unit supported Operation Iraqi Freedom in both Kuwait and Iraq during their ten-month deployment. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Sean McGuire)

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A welcome home banner decorated the walls as the Soldiers of the 180th Transportation Battalion, 4th Sustainment Brigade returned to Fort Hood in a redeployment ceremony at the Kieschnick physical fitness center Mar. 29. The unit supported Operation Iraqi Freedom in both Kuwait and Iraq during their ten-month deployment. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Sean McGuire)

 

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Lt. Col. Robert Villalobos, battalion commander, and Command Sgt. Maj. Vickie Hopson from the 180th Transportation Battalion, 4th Sustainment Brigade, uncase the unit's colors in a redeployment ceremony at Fort Hood's Kieschnick physical fitness center Mar. 29. The unit supported Operation Iraqi Freedom in both Kuwait and Iraq during their ten-month deployment. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Sean McGuire)

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Command Sgt. Maj. Vickie Hopson and her mother Betty Parhan share a moment's embrace after the 180th Transportation Battalion, 4th Sustainment Brigade Soldiers were released from a redeployment ceremony at Fort Hood's Kieschnick physical fitness center Mar. 29. The unit supported Operation Iraqi Freedom in both Kuwait and Iraq during their ten-month deployment. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Sean McGuire)