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Press Release
January 25, 2010
Oregon Army National Guard Aviation unit returns home after a year-long deployment to Iraq
 
Following a year-long deployment to Iraq, 120 members of the Oregon Army National Guard's C/7-158 Aviation unit were officially welcomed home during a ceremony in Salem, Ore., Jan. 25.

Oregon's Governor, Ted Kulongoski, and Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, The Adjutant General, Oregon National Guard, presided over the ceremony, attended by more than 300 friends, family members and fellow Oregon Guard members.

"There is no higher calling than to risk your lives so that others may live," Kulongoski said, referring to the units' 375 life saving missions, which moved over 800 patients who needed medical care.

Nine soldiers received the Order of Saint Michael—named after two military saints; Saints Michael and George. Recipients must have demonstrated significant contributions in support of an Army aviation unit.

The Governor and Rees personally thanked each soldier following the official ceremony. Each soldier received the Governor's coin and the Adjutant General's coin.

While in Iraq, the unit assisted several other units in Tallil and Joint Base Balad. They also participated in three joint training exercises—two of which were at Balad, and one in Al Asad with the Oregon Army National Guard's 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team, currently serving in Iraq. 

Photos:

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Spc. Michael Buchan, of Salem, Ore., holds his daughter Brooklyn, during the demobilization ceremony for the Oregon Army National Guard's C/7-158 Aviation in Salem, Ore., Jan. 25. Buchan returned to Oregon on leave for the birth of his daughter. He said he "visited" with her almost every day online, until his unit's return last week. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nick Choy, Oregon National Guard Public Affairs Office).

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Family members join Oregon National Guard members at the Army Aviation Support Facility in Salem, Ore., to welcome home the approximately 120 soldiers of the Oregon Army National Guard's C/7-158 Aviation unit, who deployed to Iraq for one year. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Eric Rutherford, Oregon Army National Guard Public Affairs Office).

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Megan Lulay, wife of Oregon Army National Guard Capt. Adam Lulay, holds their daughter Abigail at the demobilization ceremony for C/7-158 Aviation at the Army Aviation Support Facility in Salem, Ore., Jan. 25. Approximately 120 soldiers of the unit, who deployed to Iraq for one year, returned to Oregon. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nick Choy, Oregon National Guard Public Affairs Office).

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First Sergeant Travis Powell, and his wife Jill, share a quiet moment following the demobilization ceremony for the Oregon Army National Guard's C/7-158 Aviation, who returned from a one-year deployment to Iraq last week. Approximately 300 friends, family members, and fellow Oregon Guardsmen packed the Army Aviation Support Facility #1 in Salem, Ore., to welcome the soldiers home. The couple were married during Powell's mid-deployment leave, Sept. 27. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nick Choy, Oregon National Guard Public Affairs Office).
 
 
Contact Info:
Capt. Stephen Bomar
State Public Affairs Officer
503-584-3885