FORT LEE, Va. (March 5, 2014) – A 41-member detachment of mortuary affairs Soldiers was welcomed back to Fort Lee Tuesday just before midnight at Clark Fitness Center. The 111th Quartermaster Company troops spent the past six months supporting peacekeeping efforts in Southwest Asia as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.

"These Soldier have traveled more than 7,000 miles over the past 24 hours to get back to us safe and sound today, so please join me in a round of applause for all they have done," said Lt. Col. David Vandevander, 82nd Sustainment Brigade commander in his welcoming remarks at the event.

 "Let's also take a moment to recognize the families in our audience tonight," he continued. "We truly thank you for your steadfast support and sacrifice. Although you don't wear the uniform, we do know that you shoulder the burden, and we recognize the fact that it's just as hard waiting at home as it is deploying downrange."

The troops were told to relax and enjoy their time at home. With the announcement, "this concludes our ceremony," families and fellow troops flooded onto the floor for hugs and handshakes.