125 Md. National Guardsmen Honored After Return From Iraq

BALTIMORE (July 28, 2008) – Approximately 125 members of the Maryland Army National Guard who had recently returned from a deployment in Iraq were honored on Sunday in a “Freedom Salute” by Governor Martin O’Malley and federal, state, and local officials in the Stephens Hall Theater at Towson University.

The returning Soldiers were from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 58th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, also known as Task Force Raven. The unit conducted missions from the Victory Base Complex west of Baghdad and in the vicinity of Baghdad International Airport. The 58th IBCT was the command and control element for more than 1,200 Maryland National Guard Soldiers—the largest deployment of combat troops from Maryland since World War II.

“The people of Maryland and our nation owe Task Force Raven gratitude for their high-degree of selfless service and dedication to the principles of freedom,” said Governor O’Malley. “Their honor and willingness to sacrifice on behalf of all Americans, as well as for the Iraqi people, help them to stand out among their peers. These Soldiers have represented their state and their nation honorably, and now we are so proud welcome them home.”

The 58th IBCT played a key role in processing more than 420 requests for inter-theater movements and planned and accomplished the relief-in-place of approximately 70,000 Soldiers either at or through the Victory Base Complex. Additionally, they were responsible for hundreds of construction projects in their Area of Responsibility and had oversight of all roads, water and utilities, prime power generators and more than 9,000 facilities supporting more than 55,000 government and contractor personnel for nine forward operating bases on the Victory Base Complex.

“These Soldiers have dutifully and with distinction served our country and sacrificed so much,” said Brig. Gen. James A. Adkins, the adjutant general of Maryland. “I am delighted that so many family members and friends were on hand to welcome these heroes home.”

Each eligible Soldier received an encased American flag, a lapel insignia, a commemorative coin and certificate of appreciation from the Army National Guard. The Soldier’s spouse/significant other received a lapel insignia.

Source: Governor's Office

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