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Oregon Soldiers Return From Year-Long Deployment to IraqSalem-News.com
Oregon Army National Guard Aviation unit returns home after a year-long deployment to Iraq
(SALEM, Ore.) - 120 members of the Oregon Army National Guard's C/7-158 Aviation unit were officially welcomed home from a year-long deployment to Iraq 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.
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