Media Room


Governor Kate Brown
Mobilization Ceremony - Ashland
October 13, 2019

I am honored to be here with all of you “Guardians of the Western Gate.” And I wish you well as you prepare to deploy to Djibouti. 

I know you will represent both Oregon and the nation well, both during your final training at Fort Bliss, Texas, and as you embark upon your first mission.

A year is a long time to be away from family and loved ones.  And with a demanding physical schedule and harsh environment it can take a great toll on both the heart and the mind. 

So, look out for one another downrange. Not only as you carry out the course of your duties, but in each and every one of those moments in between. 

Reach out to your battle buddy and encourage one another. More experienced soldiers: mentor a young member of your platoon. Help them. Teach them. 

I want to thank the families, friends, and co-workers here today for your generosity and understanding as these amazing men and women leave you to serve their country.
It was philosopher G. K. Chesterton who said, “The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.”

As I stand here before you, the brave Soldiers of 1-186 Infantry, and your loved ones, I can see those bonds and connections and encourage you to hold tight to one another even though you may be far apart.

Go with the confidence and knowledge that your community will care for your loved ones while you are away. The strength and resiliency of Guard families is unmatched. 

I know there is nothing that our Oregon Citizen Soldiers cannot do. Every time we’ve called upon you, you’ve overwhelmingly answered and exceeded expectations.

And I know that you will be a resource for the Combined Joint Task Force of the Horn of Africa in Djibouti. They are truly fortunate to have you. 

We look forward to being here to welcome you back home. So, go out there and relentlessly inflict good! Do us all proud. 

Thank you for your service and commitment.