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Press Release
March 24, 2005
Citizen-soldiers return to Oregon as Operation Iraqi Freedom Veterans
 
After eighteen months of separation from their families and a one year tour of duty in Iraq, nearly seven hundred citizen-soldiers will return to various armories and their loved ones throughout Oregon Mar. 25.
 
Thirteen buses will depart Fort Lewis, Washington at about 9 a.m. on Friday bringing the majority of the 2nd Battalion, 162nd Infantry of the Oregon Army National Guard home. At the Oregon-Washington border, Oregon State Police will provide an escort.
 
The 2nd Bn., 162nd Inf. spent a year in Iraq conducting stability and support operations in and around Baghdad, including Taji and Sadr City. Sadr City was one of the most explosive communities in Iraq until Muqtada al Sadr, an influential cleric in the region, ordered his followers to cease opposition to coalition forces. During the deployment, soldiers from the battalion participated in the pivotal battles for Fallujah and Najaf, and the assisted in the round up of insurgents and weapons caches in the Babil area south of Baghdad.
 
Soldiers from across the state supported the deployment, and most will return to ten armories along the coast and the Interstate-5 corridor. Buses will go to the following armories:
 
Jackson Armory, 6225 NE Cornfoot Road, Portland
Forest Grove Armory, 2950 Taylor Way, Forest Grove
Woodburn Armory, 1630 Park Avenue, Woodburn
Salem Armory, 2310 17th Street NE, Salem
Corvallis Armory, 1100 NW Kings Blvd., Corvallis
Eugene Armory, 2515 MLK Jr. Blvd., Eugene
Roseburg Armory, 111 NW General Ave Roseburg
Medford Armory, 1701 S Pacific Hwy, Medford
Coos Bay Armory, 255 N. Norman, Coos Bay
Newport Armory, 541 SW Coast Hwy, Newport
 
The general public and all media are invited to attend the welcome home ceremonies at the armories.
 
Though the return of the battalion is being met with jubilation at the armories, the excitement is tempered with the memory of the eight Oregon National Guard soldiers and one New York National Guard soldier who lost their lives during the deployment.
 
 
Contact:

Capt Mike Braibish
503-584-3886, cell 503-932-5805
 
Kay Fristad
503-584-3917, cell 503-931-5179