Fort Polk Community
Fort Polk welcomes home 705th EOD
Story by Angie Thorne on 04/05/2019
Guardian staff writer
FORT POLK, La. A redeployment ceremony for the 705th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company was held April 2 at Fort Polk’s Warrior Gym. Fort Polk leadership, Family and friends attended the event.
Brig. Gen. Patrick D. Frank, Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk commanding general, welcomed the Soldiers of the 705th EOD and told those in attendance that the ceremony was the most important event taking place at Fort Polk at that moment.
Frank praised the 21 Soldiers of the 705th EOD and their efforts during their nine-month deployment in support of theater operations in the Army’s critical mission across the Middle East.
“These Soldiers belong to one of the most combat ready EOD formations in the entire Army. They courageously reduced the enemy’s weapons of choice. While deployed, the 705th destroyed more than 1.7 million pieces of ordnance, responded to 210 EOD incidents and supported four different task forces across six locations in four countries. That’s a busy deployment,” he said.
Frank said each of the Soldiers could be proud they helped ensure America’s freedoms and liberty were secured.
“All of Fort Polk salutes you. It’s great to have you home,” he said.
Bill Gilliam, Fort Polk G-3, said he attended the ceremony to support the returning Soldiers.
“I’m glad they are home and safe,” he said.
Family members at the ceremony are relieved their loved ones were home.
Deanna Eskew, spouse of Pfc. Michael Eskew, said life the good and the bad doesn’t stop when your husband is away. She said it was a difficult deployment for her because there were some deaths in the family while her spouse was gone.
“I really missed having him here to support me,” she said. “I’m so glad he’s back. I’m looking forward to having our Family together again and the kids having their dad back will be wonderful,”
Leslie Dixon, spouse of 1st Lt. Daniel Dixon, said the toughest part about the deployment for her was learning to be alone again.
“Transitioning back to a life without him was tough,” she said.
Dixon said having her spouse back is the most important thing to her. She said she is most excited to do the simple things couples share when they are in a relationship.
“I want to get back to those normal daily routines when we shop, cook, watch television and just be together,” she said.
After the ceremony ended and Families were reunited, Staff Sgt. James Ruzicka, a 705th Soldier, said it was fantastic to be home.
“All I want to do now is spend time with my wife and kids, he said.