Oregon Soldiers Get Ready For Afghanistan

OPB | June 7, 2014 4:43 p.m. | Updated: June 9, 2014 8:24 a.m. | Portland

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Hundreds of soldiers in the Oregon National Guard are deploying this summer and will be among the last Americans to serve in Afghanistan.

An Oregon Army National Guard Soldier of Charlie Troop, 1st Squadron, 82nd Cavalry, 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team, fires a 50-caliber machine gun during gunnery qualification at the Orchard Combat Training Center, near Boise, Idaho, May 31, in preparation for deployment. Approximately 190 Soldiers with the squadron will spend nine months performing security and support for military installations in Afghanistan. 

An Oregon Army National Guard Soldier of Charlie Troop, 1st Squadron, 82nd Cavalry, 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team, fires a 50-caliber machine gun during gunnery qualification at the Orchard Combat Training Center, near Boise, Idaho, May 31, in preparation for deployment. Approximately 190 Soldiers with the squadron will spend nine months performing security and support for military installations in Afghanistan. 

Sgt. 1st Class April Davis / Oregon Military Department Public Affairs

A battalion of 400 soldiers mobilized in Salem this weekend.Among them is Jimmy Brown.

In his civilian life, Sgt. Jimmy Brown lives just outside of Wenatchee Washington and works as a Ferrier, shoeing horses.

But Brown is also part of an infantry battalion in the Oregon Army National Guard. He served in western Iraq in 2009. He’s proud of his battalion and kept training with it even after he moved to Washington.

Now Brown is preparing to deploy to Fort Hood for training and then Afghanistan for 10 months. He’s looking forward to the challenge.

“As infantrymen, we are the front of the line. We do from time to time receive engagements with the enemy. That’s not fun, but it’s part of the job, it’s to be expected, and we’re trained for that,” he said.

Brown says he’s set up his bills to auto pay online while he’s in Afghanistan. His fiancee is taking care of his Labrador. And he’s planning to get married when he comes home.

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