The Monticello 257th Military Police Company’s heartfelt homecoming was a colorful celebration filled with red, white, and blue and plenty of hugs all around.
More than 120 members of the unit were enthusiastically welcomed back last Thursday during an emotional event that filled the Monticello Community Center.
The 257th Military Police Company partnered with the Afghan National Army to support operations in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom during its roverseas deployment.
The unit left Minnesota May 28, 2012, for training prior to deploying to the rugged northeastern region of Afghanistan.
More than 400 welcome home yellow ribbons decorated the route the unit traveled when it rolled through town last Thursday on its return to the armory.
Groups of well-wishers braved a cold wind as they lined Seventh Street waiting for the 257th’s bus motorcade to wheel into Monticello and make its way along Seventh Street.
The 257th was escorted into town by emergency and police vehicles as well as motorcycles of the Minnesota Patriot Guard, which formed a flag line at the Monticello Community Center.
After unloading from busses parked at the back of the community center, unit members entered a packed gymnasium and awaited the words “company dismissed” from commander Capt. Troy Hyland, who offered thanks and praise to the Monticello community for its ongoing support role while the 257th Military Police Company was deployed.
Hyland also congratulated unit members for their hard work.
The 257th returned to Minnesota on a charter flight the afternoon of April 4 and released from Monticello as a unit.
Contact Managing Editor Tim Hennagir at [email protected]