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Oregonians Prepare To Mark Tenth Anniversary Of Iraq War

OPB | March 18, 2013 6 a.m. | Updated: March 19, 2013 12:24 p.m. | Portland

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This week marks the tenth anniversary of the United States’ invasion of Iraq. Oregonians from several walks of life are marking the event.

Oregon National Guard troops in 2004.

Oregon National Guard troops in 2004.

Kristian Foden-Vencil / OPB

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.

Medical evacuation in June of 2004

Medical evacuation in June of 2004

Sgt. Rebekah-mae Bruns / Oregon National Guard

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.

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