This week marks the tenth anniversary of the United States’ invasion of Iraq. Oregonians from several walks of life are marking the event.
More than 3,000 soldiers from 24 units with the Oregon Military Depertment have been to Iraq, while others have been stationed in places like Kuwait, and still others deployed with out-of-state units.
Operation Iraqi Freedom led the Oregon Guard into its second-largest overseas deployment since World War II. In 2009, the Oregon Guard’s 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team left for nearly a year in Iraq. The man who led those operations, Brigadier General Dan Hokanson, will assume command of the state’s military this summer.
It’s been just over a year since the U.S. withdrew combat troops from Iraq.
War opponents plan to gather Tuesday for a vigil in downtown Portland.
Many soldiers may spend the anniversary conscious of continuing responsibilities in Afghanistan, with a deployment of 1800 soldiers planned for 2014. Others may remember those who gave their lives in Iraq.
Ninety-nine men and women from Oregon died there, not counting those who may have lost their lives at other outposts supporting Iraqi units during the conflict.