Soldiers from the Third Battalion, 116th Cavalry Brigade are returning to cities around Oregon this month after spending a year away from home. They spent most of that time in central and northern Iraq, after a short stint at Camp Shelby in Mississippi. The National Guard unit’s approximately 600 members hail from cities in Eastern Oregon as well as Marion County, the Gorge and Southern Oregon. For many of them, this was their second tour of duty in Iraq. The troops were assigned to protect logistical convoys. They spent a lot of time on the roads in the country, where they encountered more than 50 roadside bomb attacks over the course of nine months. Now, they’re reuniting with their families and beginning the long process of readjusting to civilian life.
Are you an Oregon Guard soldier? Has someone in your family served in Iraq? What has the return to civilian life been like for you or your family?
- Phillip Appleton: Lieutenant colonel in the Oregon National Guard and Commander of the 3rd battalion, 116th Cavalry Brigade
- William Wyllie: Command Sergeant Major for the 3rd Battalion, 116th Cavalry Brigade