Cupid himself couldnt have planned Valentines Day any better, even if he enlisted and donned the Army uniform. Family, friends. loved ones and the Joint Base Lewis-McChord community joined to honor and welcome home the 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division Feb. 14.
Lancer Soldiers stood in formation on Watkins Field, JBLM, while they and the crowd heard remarks from the division and brigade commanders.
The Soldiers had completed a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan and unfurled their colors during a redeployment and uncasing ceremony.
Its indeed an honor to be here today to welcome home the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, the Lancers, back to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, said Maj. Gen. Stephen Lanza, commander of the 7th Infantry Division. We all know Army profession is built on a bedrock of trust. It is leadership from Col. Barry Huggins and Command Sgt. Maj. Andrew Connette that reinforces the bonds of trust Soldiers have in their leaders and the trust the nation has in our Army.
The Lancers operated in the Kandahar province of Afghanistan and worked diligently to improve the lives of Afghan civilians. Huggins said he was confident his brigade accomplished the commanders goals, which were to prevent a sanctuary for al-Qaida in Afghanistan, transition the security lead to the Afghan Security Forces and to bring our Soldiers home.
Lanza acknowledged the dedication the brigade had demonstrated downrange.
The Lancer Brigade enabled the Afghan government to defeat the enemies of the Afghan people, Lanza said. You have helped set the country of Afghanistan on a better path and (have given) the Afghan people what the Taliban never could: opportunity and hope.
A couple of years ago when I took command, I made a promise to the units on our left and right, Huggins said. Whenever you need us, you will not have to wonder where the Lancers are. You can count on us. Today we are back, and on behalf of the Lancers I reiterate that pledge to you.
Huggins said 2nd Bde. Soldiers will take the next months to prepare for future missions and support the Leader Development and Assessment Course for ROTC cadets this summer.
When Lancer Brigade (Soldiers) stepped out of their multi-cam uniforms, they closed the chapter of Operation Enduring Freedom in Lancer Brigade history, Lanza said. It is a chapter you can be proud of. Now this great team looks forward, and they move on to their next mission in service of their country. Seize the high ground.