Doniphan 1137th Soldiers safely return after security-mission deployment

Soldiers of the 1137th Military Police Company, of Kennett, Jackson and Doniphan recently returned from their 10-month deployment to Qatar.

Soldiers of the 1137th Military Police Company, of Kennett, Jackson and Doniphan recently returned from their 10-month deployment to Qatar.

By M. Queiser
ngmo.pao@us.army.mil

KENNETT, Mo. - Soldiers of the 1137th Military Police Company, of Kennett, Jackson and Doniphan recently returned from their 10-month deployment to Qatar.

Hundreds of Family and friends attended the homecoming ceremony that formally ended the unit's 10-month mobilization providing security for military bases and personnel in Qatar, which is both a staging area for equipment and a rest and relaxation area for military personnel. Qatar is located across the Persian Gulf from Iran and serves as a central hub for all U.S. military activity in the region.

Under the command of Capt. Nicholas Swoboda and 1st Sgt. Patrick Cunningham, the unit completed 264 security related missions, including processing over 150,000 vehicles and over 250,000 personnel through entry control points.

Spc. Andrew Johannson, of Doniphan, said he's glad to be home.

While serving in Qatar, his family often used Skype to keep in touch, said his wife Nikki.

"Skype was our best friend," said Nikki. "I honestly believed it helped us get through it."

Johannson got to see his son Blake stand up for the first time, and talk to his daughter Riley using Skype.

In the months ahead, the Soldiers focus will be reintegrating with their Families and everyday life.

"After a year of separation the things that were handled by the loved one now are going to be shared tasks that they'll have to learn to do together," said Cunningham.

To help Soldiers smoothly accomplish not only reintegration into their Families, but into everyday life and even their jobs, Lt. Col. Bill McKinney, deputy commander of 70th Troop Command, reminded Soldiers and Family members to take advantage of the Missouri National Guard's Yellow Ribbon Program.

"Yellow Ribbon is an excellent program," said McKinney. "We've developed a terrific program to help you adjust back to your normal lives with your Families, communities and employers."

The first ninety days are critical, said McKinney, to take advantage of all the opportunities the program offers, from retreats for couples and Families, the chaplain services and counseling programs, to support through the Veterans Affairs.

Making up for time is at the forefront of the Johannson Family's mind, as Andrew hugs his children and neice, Harley, talking about what they're going to do today, tomorrow and the next day.

"He's got a lot of playing to catch up with," said Nikki.

The 1137th was part of 450 Soldiers who served under the command of the 175th Military Police Battalion and Lt. Col. Sharon Martin and included the 3175th Chemical Company, based in St. Louis County; the 2175th Military Police Company, of Hannibal and Moberly; and Headquarters Company of the 175th Military Police Battalion, based in Columbia.

During this time two Soldiers received Meritorious Service Medals, 18 received Army Commendation Medals, 23 received Army Achievement Medals, 63 received Missouri Commendation Medals, 23 received Certificates of Appreciation, and 25 received the 175th Military Police Battalion Coin of Excellence. The unit also certified 97 Military Police Soldiers in the Law and Order Certification Training, seven completed the Warrior Leadership Course, and 12 Soldiers were promoted to the rank of sergeant or above.

Soldiers also volunteered over 500 hours ranging from assisting in morale, welfare, and readiness activities, to post clean-up, and service to the Doha, Qatar community.

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Soldiers of the 1137th Military Police Company, of Kennett, Jackson and Doniphan recently returned from their 10-month deployment to Qatar.

Soldiers of the 1137th Military Police Company, of Kennett, Jackson and Doniphan recently returned from their 10-month deployment to Qatar.


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