tamatoledonews.com- A community homecoming ceremony for an Iowa Army National Guard unit mobilized as part of Operation Enduring Freedom will be held on Friday, July 29 in Sheldon, Iowa. Local officials and Iowa National Guard leadership will participate and the public and media are welcome and encouraged to attend this homecoming ceremony.
A homecoming ceremony for the 2168th Transportation Company (approximately 35 Soldiers) will be held on Friday, July 29 at 1:30 p.m., at the Northwest Iowa Community College Lifelong Learning and Recreation Center, 600 College Dr., Sheldon. This ceremony will also contain elements of Detachment 1, located in Sioux City and Detachment 2, located in Fort Dodge.
Buses will enter Iowa via U.S. Highway 60 South, then turn west/right onto Iowa Highway 30 near Ames. Once they reach Boone, they’ll turn west/right onto U.S. 18 W/Park St. onto Story St. and then right/east onto Park Ave. until they reach the Community College. They will then disembark outside the NWICC Lifelong Learning and Recreation Center.
This unit is part of the approximately 2,900 members of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team,
34th Infantry Division deployed to Afghanistan. These Iowa Soldiers reported to their mobilization station at Camp Shelby, Miss. in Aug. 2010 for additional training and preparation before departing for the Afghanistan theater of operations.
The units arrived in Afghanistan in November 2010, where the Soldiers provided full spectrum operations in a combat theater, including lethal and non-lethal capabilities, support to Afghan National Army and Police units, and assistance to humanitarian relief initiatives.
Attending a community homecoming ceremony is a great way to show support for Iowa servicemen and women who deploy into harm’s way in the defense of our nation and also provide hope for a bright and peaceful future to citizens of other nations. The Iowa National
Guard, as well as local, state and federal officials welcome and encourage the public and the media to attend these homecoming ceremonies. Our Iowa Army National Guard Soldiers are currently undergoing medical clearances, briefings on federal and state benefits to which they are now entitled as combat veterans, equipment turn-in, and the completion of administrative documentation at Ft. McCoy, Wis. and will return home to Iowa as soon as those tasks are completed.
The planning for a homecoming ceremony encompasses many moving parts – allocation of transportation assets, completion of Soldier outprocessing from overseas active duty, securing homecoming host sites, notification of federal, state and local officials, and many other important tasks. Given the complexity of transporting and outprocessing more than
3,000 men and women from combat duty in Afghanistan, Iowa National Guard officials usually do not have a firm date and time for homecoming ceremonies until approximately 48 hours prior to the actual homecoming event.
The Soldiers and their families greatly appreciate the strong public show of support from family members, friends, employers, neighbors, and community members. As soon as each intricate detail of a unit arrival and their ensuing homecoming ceremony is confirmed, the
Iowa National Guard Public Affairs Office will disseminate the exact date, time and location
to ensure everyone will be at the right place, at the right time, to show their support.