June 19, 2019

Guard unit makes unexpected, joyful stateside return

Despite early reports that the return of members of Maine’s 1136th Transportation Company of the Army National Guard was to be delayed, the soldiers landed stateside Tuesday and could be back in Maine as early as next week.

That was good news for Brandy Hutton of Ashland whose husband, Spc. James Hutton, is with the 1136th and whose return this week wasn’t so certain.

In fact, on Saturday Hutton said she was told the 1136th’s return had been delayed and its service had been extended with no return time specified.

Hutton said she, her mother-in-law and others started making calls, pushing for more information and to have the company returned quickly.

“I guess we made quite a ruckus,” Hutton said Tuesday afternoon, believing that their mobilization had done some good.

In announcing the return of the 1136th, U.S. Sen. Olympia J. Snowe said she was joining the friends and families of the 1136th in welcoming them home.

“Steadfast in the face of tremendous adversity, the 1136th has earned nothing less than the honor of a grateful nation,” Snowe said.

Meanwhile, Snowe said she is pressing the Bush administration for the stateside return of the Saco-based 94th Military Police Company whose deployment has been extended twice during the past year.

For Hutton, the dark cloud over her husband’s return began to dissipate when her husband called from Kuwait about 11 a.m. Monday with the good news that the company was being bused to the airport.

Hutton couldn’t sleep that night, and early Tuesday, at about 1 a.m., her husband called to say he was in Germany.

The company arrived stateside on Tuesday, and Hutton got a call from her husband about 3 p.m. letting her know he was in New Jersey.

Although James Hutton returned briefly in October on leave, he has been away from his family and his new wife – they were married in February 2003, shortly before he deployed – for much of the year.

Hutton said that when her husband returns, they plan to renew their vows and take a honeymoon they had put off because of the deployment.

In her husband’s absence, Hutton has been busy repainting and redecorating their home.

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