Friday, July 20, 2007

Thank you for your service, Red Bulls

1/34th Red Bulls patchThe Minnesota National Guard 1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division (1/34th BCT, in military parlance) has proudly returned home to Minnesota. The 1/34th web site concisely summarizes the "Red Bulls's" amazing tour of duty in Iraq:
The 1/34 BCT conducted its Transfer of Authority ceremony with the 1/82 BCT(A) at the Ziggurat of Ur on 11 July 2007, ending another chapter in Red Bull history.

During the longest deployment of any unit to date in Operation Iraqi Freedom, they drove 2.4 million miles with 99% on time starts;

discovered a significant number of IEDs before they could detonate;

achieved a 98% vehicle readiness rate;

processed 1.5 million vehicles at entry control points without incident;

completed $29 million in Iraqi reconstruction (seven water plants, 90 miles of road, numerous schools, and hundreds of miles of roadside cleanup);

closed eight redundant radio relay points and improved the remaining three;

and provided $55 million in force protection improvements for four bases.

1/34th BCT has earned the Operation Iraqi Freedom Campaign Streamer for its service in Iraq from March 2006 to July 2007.
Transfer of Authority, July 11, 2007 (Photo:

Fortunately, these brave soldiers will be helped in significant ways after the yellow ribbons come down:

After experiencing the intensity of combat, Minnesota Guardsmen will reunite with their families and resume their civilian lives. The Minnesota National Guard, under the leadership of men like Maj.Gen. Larry Shellito, Col.Kevin Gerdes and Chaplain John Morris, have developed a unique combat veteran reintegration program in hopes of changing the way soldiers and airmen are reintegrated into their communities.

The "Beyond the Yellow Ribbon" program has proven an effective means to prepare every combat veteran and his family for a safe, healthy and successful reintegration following deployment.

"As a 25-year veteran of the Marine Corps, I remember the joys and difficulties of coming home from deployment," [Minnesota Congressman Rep. John] Kline said. "Minnesota’s 'Beyond the Yellow Ribbon' includes extensive reintegration efforts, and Minnesotans can be proud of this pioneering program. I was pleased to work with the National Guard Bureau and the Minnesota National Guard to introduce legislation that would create a national program.”[1]

If you enjoy your freedom in America, thank a Red Bull or any veteran. Well done, Red Bulls, and welcome home!

UPDATE: Congratulations to MOB member The Patriette on the homecoming of her favorite member of the 1/34th Red Bulls: her husband! Tune in to her blog for details!

1 comment:

libbylee2487 said...

OORAH!!! :D Glad to hear they are home! They deserve a nice long rest and a tall glass of sweet tea!w