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More than 4,000 boots stood in the wet grass of Joint Base Lewis- McChords Watkins Field as 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division uncased its brigade and battalion colors Tuesday.
The physical act of pulling off a sleeve and unrolling a flag is simple, but it signifies much the return of the entire Arrowhead Brigade, but also the resumption of the brigades mission on JBLM.
We form today for two primary reasons to mark the return from overseas deployment of the Arrowhead Brigade by uncasing our battalion and brigade colors, said Col. Charles Webster, 3rd Bde., 2nd Inf. Div. commander, and by holding this formal ceremony to thank our senior leadership, our fellow units and installation command.
The brigade and battalion colors were cased more than a year before as the Soldiers of the Arrowhead Brigade set off on a 12-month deployment to Afghanistan in November 2011. Since the last of the brigades personnel returned in December, its Soldiers have been busy completing reintegration, transitioning back to regular duty and enjoying leave.
Weve been home for almost two months but we took some well-deserved leave with our Families over the Christmas break, Webster said.
Before the uncasing, six wounded warriors were recognized as they moved onto the field to join their battalions. There were also close to 30 Family members of fallen Soldiers, Gold Star families, at the ceremony.
After the uncasing, Webster addressed the audience, Families and distinguished guests, to include the Secretary of the Army John McHugh and Maj. Gen. Stephen Lanza, 7th Infantry Division commanding general, while Arrowhead Soldiers stood in formation.
You are all heroes and dedicated servants of our country and should be justly proud of your accomplishments, Webster said. Im proud and humbled just to be counted among you.