Bravo returns safe and sound from Afghanistan

IT WAS THE KIND of good news that’s always a joy to report. The Plymouth-based Wisconsin Army National Guard Battery B, 1st Battalion, 121st Field Artillery returned safely last week from a yearlong deployment to Afghanistan.

Bravo Battery was ‘boots on ground’ – in military lingo – at Fort Bliss, Texas, last Friday.

The The High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) unit, which was conducting a fire support mission in Afghanistan, is still in Texas but will be returning to the Badger State this weekend.

A private welcome home ceremony is tentatively scheduled for Friday at the Experimental Aircraft Association grounds in Oshkosh.

The sendoff ceremony for Bravo last December in the Plymouth High School Acuity Auditorium was a rousing and emotional event. Friday’s homecoming should be even more so.

This was the second deployment for Bravo, which spent 15 months in Iraq starting in April 2006, conducting a convoy escort mission and route security element mission. The unit suffered two casualties during that deployment.

This time, Bravo became the first Wisconsin Army National Guard HIMARS battery ever to conduct an active-duty fire support mission and the news was much better, with every member of the unit coming home safe and sound. That may well be the most joyful part of their return.

It was a difficult and challenging mission for

Bravo, and a difficult and challenging time for the family, friends and loved ones they left behind.

Wives and children carried on their lives here at home without their husbands and fathers, while at the same time dealing with the uncertainty and anxiety that deployment to a combat zone entails.

Now they can all breathe easier and welcome back their loved ones with true joy and relief.

All of us owe a great debt to the men of Bravo who served and sacrificed to guard our freedoms, as indeed we owe a great debt to all the men and women who serve, and who have served, to keep us free and strong.

Welcome home, Bravo, and congratulations on a job well done. We’re glad to have you back.

At issue:
Welcome back, Bravo
Bottom line:
Glad they’re home

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Edward Jones