Soldiers return to Fort Eustis after Ebola deployment to West Africa

Posted at 11:09 AM, Mar 23, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-25 06:31:25-04

Newport News, Va. (WTKR) - 34 soldiers returned to Fort Eustis Monday morning after a deployment to West Africa in support of Operation United Assistance.

The soldiers are members of the 53rd Transportation Battalion, 7th Transportation Brigade (Expeditionary) who deployed in late October.

While deployed to West Africa, the solider were responsible for supporting logistics, moving supplies and equipment in the area.

"When we first were told that we were going, it was nerve-wracking but we received a lot of training before getting there. I felt reassured that we’d be safe over there and we had the training to do what we had to do," explained Specialist Kristine Crosby.

Even though they did not come into contact with any persons diagnosed with Ebola, the soldiers still underwent a 21-day mandatory controlled-monitoring at Langley Air Force Base.

Now that they are back home, many of the soldiers have the chance to reflect on the difference they made during what is now the worst Ebola outbreak in history.

"At first when we got there they were really worried about it and the longer we were there, the less worried they were about it, so I think we did a huge impact," SGT Arthur Pimentel told NewsChannel 3 on Monday.

The Pentagon says the expect to keep just 100 military personnel on the ground in West Africa past April 30, down from nearly 2,800 during the height of the outbreak.