Stonewall Brigade returns home
Several hundred people gathered at Gypsy Hill Park this afternoon to welcome home the 116th Brigade Combat Team (the "Stonewall Brigade") upon their return to Staunton, after a six-month deployment in Baghdad. (Actually, it was a company-sized detachment, just one of a dozen or so units belonging to the 116th.) The National Guardsmen (and women) left town last May, spending a few weeks training in Mississippi as preparation for their deployment to Iraq. Thankfully, all of the brigades' soldiers made it back home to the U.S.A., and only one of them suffered injuries while in Iraq. Congressman Bob Goodlatte said a few words of welcome, praising the troops for their successful mission in stabilizing Iraq, and reminding everyone that in years past, soldiers returning from overseas were not always well received. A number of local political leaders were there as well. Seeing the families joyously reunited up close and personal -- as opposed to on TV -- was quite an emotional experience.
Thank you, soldiers, for a job well done!
UPDATE: Steve Kijak arrived ahead of time and took a bunch of fine photos.