Story by Dale Potts, Tualatin Times
Community members are invited to join local veterans groups in welcoming home the Headquarters Company of the 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team (HHC, 41-IBCT).
Located at the Tigard Armory facility, the Headquarters Company was part of the largest call up of Oregon military since World War II.
Plans are being made for a parade from Tigard City Hall and then a family fair at Cook Park on the second weekend in September for the 200 members who deployed and their families. Community groups are encouraged to join in the parade and help put on the family event.
The parade route will follow Hall Blvd to Tigard High, turn right on Durham and then turn left to Cook Park. A similar homecoming, on August 4,2007, after HHC, 41-IBCT returned from Afghanistan , started from Hwy 99. Tigard American Legion Post 158 and Tualatin VFW Post 3452 have over 20 local members deployed with the brigade.
Brigade Commander, Col. Dan Hokanson said, “The Brigade operated out of different locations in Southern, Western and Central Iraq. 3,300 soldiers drove over eight million miles, enduring numerous IED devices, small arms and indirect fire attacks, all while escorting over 7,000 logistical convoys and played a key role in the withdrawal of responsible forces in Iraq.”
If everything goes as planned, the entire Brigade is expected to begin returning to Fort Lewis, Wash., for out-processing in the second week of April. It is expected to take six days, and will begin as groups arrive. This out-processing includes medical and mental evaluations and completion of paperwork to move these national guard members back to civilian life after more than a year of active duty status.
There will be ceremonies in Portland, Bend, Medford and the Eugene/Springfield areas as the troops initially return to Oregon. The guard members will each have 90 days to reintegrate back into civilian life (with their families, job, and/or school and their communities).
We want the troops to know that we really appreciate their sacrifices. One of the best ways to communicate that thought is to say “thank you for your service” when you greet a veteran. They will know you mean it from your heart.
If interested in participating in the parade, providing donations or helping at this event, call either Norm Clark at 503 539-6210 or Tim Harless at 503 892-2683.