Approximately 170 soldiers from the 1165th Military Police Company came home to Fairhope, Ala. in time for the holidays, Dec. 23, 2011. These soldiers spent 11 months deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan and returned to hundreds of people waiting to welcome them home.
The unit almost didn’t make it home for Christmas, Joe Birindelli of Citizens for Local Troop Support, said. Because of holiday staffing shortages at Camp Shelby, the company cannot be processed out of active duty until next week. The National Guard did not have money budgeted to send the troops home to Fairhope and then back for processing.
"We had to help with the cost of buses for one round trip for them, which is about $5,000, and we were starting to look and beg for the money for that and Mr. Louis Mapp stepped forward and he generously gave us the entire $5,000," Birindelli said. "Just a wonderful man."
Mapp said he and his wife, Melinda, were honored to help get the soldiers home for Christmas.
The soldiers will spend the holidays at home and then return to Camp Shelby to finish being processed out of active duty service.