Monday, March 14, 2011

Welcome Home 326th Financial Management Center!!

Story and Photos by Sgt. 1st Class C. L. Beal

Maj. Gen. William D. Frink Jr., Commanding General of the 79th Sustainment Support Command, speaks to Soldiers and Family members of the 326th Financial Management Center during a Welcome Home Warrior Citizen ceremony at the General George S. Patton U.S. Army Reserve Center in Bell, Calif., March 13. 


Soldiers of the 326th Financial Management Center were honored in front of family, friends and employers during a Welcome Home Warrior Citizen ceremony at the General George S. Patton U.S. Army Reserve Center in Bell, Calif., March 13.

The Soldiers of the 326th Financial Management Center recently returned from a year-long deployment in support of Operations in Iraqi, Kuwait, and Afghanistan. During their deployment, they provided technical oversight of all theater financial management operations, established theater policies and enforced regulations and guidelines.

The Welcome Home Warrior-Citizen ceremony is a Soldier-recognition program that was established in December 2004 to thank Reserve Soldiers and their Families for their sacrifices in support of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The program was signed into law by President George W. Bush to ensure that Reserve Soldiers receive tangible recognition for their combat and non-combat service.

“The Welcome Home Warrior Citizen Ceremony gives us an opportunity to bring all the Soldiers and Family members back together and thank them both for their service and sacrifices,” said Col. Arthur Turnier, Director of the 326th FMC during its deployment.

“It also helps soldiers know that in the Army Reserve they are part of a larger family than they might think. It lets a new soldier know that they are not just a finance specialist by themselves – they are part of a family that will take care of and appreciate them,” continued Turnier.

This recognition is invaluable said Command Sgt. Maj. Gerald Capps, Command Sergeant Major of the 311th Expeditionary Sustainment Command.

“The problem we face as Reserve Soldiers is that we usually don’t get recognized by the local communities when we come back from deployments. These events give our soldiers and families that recognition and show them thanks for their sacrifices,” said Capps.

Maj. Gen. William D. Frink Jr., Commanding General of the 79th Sustainment Support Command, and guest speaker of the event, said it was an honor to welcome home the Warrior Citizens and recognize them for the successful mission they carried out in answer to their nation’s call.

“The 326th truly brought the brainpower and skills needed, when our country needed it,” said Frink. “We are all honored and blessed that the men and women standing before us today volunteered to serve our nation.”

During the ceremony, Frink individually thanked and presented the Soldiers and their Families with tokens of appreciation. They include a U.S. Flag in a wooden case with their name engraved on the front, a commemorative Warrior Citizen coin, a lapel pin set for the Soldier and Family members, and a Warrior Citizen welcome home flag.

“These are good and positive things, and I think they mean a lot to the soldiers and families who receive them,” said Capps. “It’s much better than in the old days when they would just give us a pen that didn’t work.”

Staff Sgt. Roberto Cuellar, a financial management analyst in the 326th FMC, said he wished they would have had these kinds of events the first time he deployed.

“I think they are a big help in making Soldiers feel appreciated for what they have done,” said Cuellar. “The Welcome Home Warrior Citizen Events really do make a difference.”


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