Sgt. 1st Class Jay Jennings, assigned to Meridian’s 150th Engineer Battalion, hugs his daughters at the 172d Airlift Wing in Flowood, Miss., April 6, 2019. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Spc. Victoria Miller)
The final group of soldiers from the 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team of the Mississippi National Guard have returned home. After being deployed for a year to Kuwait and other portions of the Middle East as part of Operation Spartan Shield, the soldiers are home with their families.
The first parts of the unit began arriving stateside back in February, with each group taking about two weeks to go through demobilization at Fort Bliss, Texas before they were allowed to board their final flight and make their way home, to Mississippi.
The 155th is the first National Guard ABCT to assume the Operation Spartan Shield mission. Major General Janson Boyles serves at the Adjutant General for Mississippi’s National Guard and said when soldiers of the 155th return home, many will be searching for jobs.
“We have been working diligently to get the names of employers who have jobs available and are willing to hire our young leaders,” said Maj. Gen. Boyles. “We are now in the process of connecting those two together. We’ve got case managers employed by the Guard who will connect those soldiers coming home to their employers in that region and all we ask is for the employers to consider hiring some of our National Guardsman coming home. They are veterans now, so that is a credit for the employers. We are marketing leadership.”
He encouraged employers to look into hiring returning National Guard Members and said many of the soldiers put their lives on hold to go serve their country and will be looking for their first jobs.
“Any employers who are interested in hiring a veteran, these are men and women who will continue to serve for the most part, so a National Guard soldier is a little bit different because they continue to get leadership training in our formation as they are also doing jobs for their employers.”