Sunday, September 14, 2008
Brigade Deployment Ceremony
Our Brigade Deployment ceremony was held on September 11th, 2008. Our Brigade marched onto the airfield parade ground to the cheers of family, friends, and guests. The sun broke out of the clouds to shine down throughout the ceremony. The shining sun was a benefit to the friends, family and guests, not to the soldiers; the sun was shining directly into our eyes throughout the entire ceremony. MG Layfield, LTG Mixon and Gov. Sarah Palin were the guests of honor who provided words of comfort and support to the family and friends and words of encouragement and resolve to the deploying soldiers.
I recommend checking out the Fairbanks Daily News Miner for their coverage of the deployment ceremony and some excellent pictures of the event.
The general consensus from the soldiers I was with was positive. While standing in formation for 1 hour and 45 minutes is not enjoyable, we understand the purpose such events serve. They help the commander see his troops, but also provide a sense of pride for the family and friends who look upon those soldiers formed before them. The remarks given by MG Layfield, LTG Mixon, Gov. Sarah Palin and COL Thompson were well received, even if the primary audience for the majority of the remarks were the viewing public, not the formation of soldiers. Gov. Sarah Palin remarks were especially appreciated (the full speech appears below, click to watch).
It was special to have Gov. Palin join us for our deployment. Her words about the difference between the September 10th and September 11th worlds were especially relevant given to the date of the deployment ceremony. The date was picked for the obvious symbolic message by the brigade commander, COL Thompson. We are at war against people with the same nihilist vision as those who attacked us on September 11th. Michael Yon’s dispatches have done enormous work in highlighting the depth of the depravity of the enemy we face in Iraq.
Our battalion was privileged to be joined by a true American Hero during this pre-deployment period. COL John Komp, our Regiment’s Honorary Commander is a veteran of three wars: World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. His example serves as an inspiration for the men and women of my battalion and an example of the great Americans in whose steps we attempt to follow when answering our Nation’s call to arms.