Relatives of local National Guard unit told soldiers extended, then extention rescinded
There was laughter, there was concern, there was fear and there were tears. And finally, in it's most plain form, there was the truth.
The wives, mothers and families, as well as a few employers, found out that the soldiers they know and love, the ones from the local 1457th Engineering Battalion, would not be coming home from Iraq in May as expected.
"The request from the commanding general of the theater that some units be extended rattled around in the system for about 10 days before the decisions were made," said Major General Brian Tarbet of the Utah National Guard at a meeting in the Price Armory where over 50 people were gathered to hear what most thought was a foregone conclusion. "Many kinds of units involving 20,000 soldiers have been extended. From the various states national guard units 3,000 soldiers in 17 units were involved. One of those requested was the 1457th."
However, the problem many people at the meeting expressed was that they heard the news from the media rather than through official channels. Some also expressed dismay at the fact they were the ones to tell their soldiers the extension was official.
"We didn't get the official word until late Tuesday night, so we couldn't say for sure until then," stated Tarbet. "But in fact, as of right now, that is all we know for a fact. We do not know for a fact how long they will be there, nor do we know for a fact what their mission will be."
Fortunately two days later the Army changed it's mind and decided to send the unit home.
Long faces that had prevailed at the initial meeting turned into very happy ones all over the community as the word was spread.
A few troops were sent home early, but on May 11 the bulk of the 1457th arrived home in Price to the cheers of relatives and towns people.