Rhode Island National Guardsmen return home on Thanksgiving Day

“The soldiers of the 115th Military Police Company and their families stood to the challenge before them and persevered through unprecedented times. I commend their efforts, and I am grateful for their safe return.”

WARWICK, R.I. (WLNE) – Rhode Island National Guardsmen from the 115th Military Police Company returned home for an emotional  Thanksgiving reunion.

“I’ve been picturing this for a while,” said Specialist Andrew Zincone of Warwick. “Hasn’t hit me yet.”

Soldiers from the 115th Military Police Company conducted routine military police missions in support of Operation Spartan Shield, spending most of the year serving in southwest Asia. They arrived at TF Green Airport and took buses to CCRI in Warwick.

“When I got on the bus I was very anxious and excited,” said Specialist Amanda Smith. “It feels more real now.”

They were met with the cheers of family and friends.

“It’s everything,” said Nancy Zincone of Warwick. “Especially with what’s been going on, it’s wonderful. It’s good to have our heroes home.”

The pandemic changed the homecoming — with people waiting in the cars and reuniting outside — and added to hardships of serving overseas.

“You tend to appreciate things a lot more, the little things,” said Specialist Carter Richard Stanley, Providence. “And family, friends.”

Despite those hardships, they say they’re still proud to serve.

“Especially during a time like this, we can all come together and serve our country,” Smith said.

“I had great leadership along the way,” Zincone said. “At the end of the day we did a good job, I’m proud of everybody that did it. I’m just happy to be home.”

And now that they’re home, what’s the first thing they plan to do this Thanksgiving?

“Eat,” Zincone said. “Eat actual good food.”

Formed in 1951, the 115th Military Police Company is based out of Camp Fogarty in East Greenwich.

The 115th is known for their history of service which ranges from providing domestic support during national disasters to mobilizations overseas.

“Today, we celebrate not only Thanksgiving, but the return of our teammates from their deployment overseas,” said Maj. Gen. Christopher P. Callahan, the Adjutant General, Commanding General, of the Rhode Island National Guard.

“The soldiers of the 115th Military Police Company and their families stood to the challenge before them and persevered through unprecedented times,” said Callahan. “I commend their efforts, and I am grateful for their safe return.”

©WLNE-TV/ABC6 2020

Categories: News, Regional News, Rhode Island