Community Day a great salute to our Bravo Battery

MEMBERS OF THE PLYMOUTH-BASED Battery B, 1st Battalion, 121st Field Artillery of the Wisconsin National Guard got to meet and greet their families, neighbors, friends, co-workers and fellow residents last week.

The National Guard unit held a Community Day event at the armory on Sunset Drive that was wellattended, congenial and informative.

The unit’s equipment and vehicles were on display, with soldiers present to explain what they were, how they’re used and, in some cases, demonstrate how they work.

Guests had the chance to enjoy lunch with the soldiers – and no, it wasn’t the Army’s notorious MRE (meals, ready-to-eat) but good picnic fare, burgers, chips and beans.

It was a chance for community members to learn about these highlyskilled, well-trained soldiers and their unique mission.

Bravo’s parent unit, the 1-121st Field Artillery, traces its history back to 1884. Soldiers from the National Guard unit served proudly and with distinction in both World Wars, as well as deployments for Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2006-2007 and in Afghanistan in 2012-2013. The battery and the battalion were also activated for nearly a full year in 1961-1962 during and after the Berlin Crisis.

In addition, the battery and the battalion have served the state in many capacities over the years, from keeping the peace during riots to answering the call during and after natural disasters, and much more.

Through all of that, one thing has remained constant – the soldiers of Bravo Battery are not full-time soldiers. They live and work among us – holding down jobs, raising families and contributing in many other ways to Plymouth,

Sheboygan County and Wisconsin.

But when their state or their nation calls them, they put on their uniform and put their lives on the line, if necessary, to protect us and preserve our freedoms.

On their deployment in 20006-2007 to Iraq, two

Bravo soldiers paid the ultimate sacrifice – a stark reminder of just how deep a commitment all of the part-time soldiers in Bravo have made.

On their deployment to Afghanistan in 2012-2013, Bravo became the first National Guard High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) unit ever to be deployed into an active combat zone – a duty previously reserved only for full-time Army HIMARS units.

That deployment led to Bravo earning the 2013 Alexander Hamilton Award, recognizing them as the year’s outstanding National Guard field artillery battery from all across the country for superb mission accomplishment and overall excellence.

It means we in Plymouth are hosts to some of the Army National Guard’s best and it was nice to get a chance to meet and great – and eat with – these fine men and women.

We may see the soldiers of Bravo Battery in uniform once a month or so, but we see them every day as our neighbors, family and friends.

We’re proud to be able to call Bravo Battery our own and we salute them for a job well done.

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