CLINTON — The Clinton Police Department was full of people Tuesday afternoon as officers and staff held a welcome home party for two officers who recently returned from nearly a year-long tour in Iraq.

Cpl. Colin Reid and officer Jeff Peasley are members of the Naval Reserves and were deployed to Iraq with the Embark Security Detachment 131 based out of San Antonio. The two were mobilized on July 25, and after several weeks of training in San Diego, arrived in Bahrain, Iraq, at the end of September.

During their service in Iraq, Reid and Peasley were assigned to protect Navy supply ships and provide defensive measures against possible terrorist attacks in the Persian Gulf. Peasley said the environmental conditions were harsh and temperatures could sometimes reach up to 125 degrees.

“It’s a lot hotter over there,” Peasley said.

Reid added that their responsibilities overseas were very different than the tasks they must perform while on duty with the police department.

“It was a total security operation,” Reid said. “It’s a different type of operation than law enforcement here. You think different, you operate different. It’s a different way of life.”

The two were demobilized in late February and recently were released to come home after debriefing in San Diego. Both Peasley and Reid say they are very happy to be back in Clinton.

“It’s nice to be back, you know, you miss your family and friends and everything. It’s good to be home,” said Peasley. He remarked that he is beginning to readjust to being home, but said one of the things that kept them going during their service was the outpouring of support from the community.

“We had a lot of support from the city over there,” Peasley said.

He noted that the city made up the difference in pay scales between what they made while serving in the Reserves and when on duty with the CPD, as well as kept their health insurance current for the officers and their families. Peasley thanked his fellow officers for carrying the heavy workload and picking up the slack while the two officers were overseas. Police Chief Brian Guy said many workplaces nationwide are having to deal with staffing shortages due to deployments overseas and the CPD is grateful for the return of Peasley and Reid.

“We’re glad to have those guys back to fill in the ranks,” Guy said. He said many officers in the department serve in the armed forces and at times of need are called to service. Guy said support from the community has meant a lot to the officers while serving their country.

Reid said they have a lot of people to thank for the assistance and encouragement given to them and their families while deployed in Iraq.

“The chief and our captains were very supportive (and our) our families,” said Reid. “It was nice to know that people back home remembered us, thought about us and took care of things for us while we were gone.”

“We’re glad to have them back safely and ready to resume their careers as police officers,” said Guy. “We are very proud of them for their service to their country.”

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