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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Guard unit comes home

Approximately 75 members of the Alabama Army National Guard’s 128th Medical Company will return to their home armory in Ashland Thursday after spending about seven months in Iraq.

A Welcome Home Ceremony will be held tomorrow, March 26, at 4:00 p.m. at Fort Pete Phillips National Guard armory on Hwy. 9 South in Ashland.

While deployed to Iraq, unit members provided ground ambulance and basic medical support at several locations across the country. It was the unit’s second deployment to Iraq in the past five years.

Maj. Gen. Abner C. Blalock, the adjutant general of Alabama, will attend the ceremony and speak briefly to the Soldiers and their family members. Col. John Craft will attend and represent Maj. Gen. Joe Harkey, commander of the 167th Support Sustainment Command in Birmingham.

The public is invited and encouraged to attend the ceremony to show their support for the Soldiers as they return home from their second overseas deployment in the global war on terror.

More than 13,800 members of the Alabama Army and Air National Guard have been called to active duty since Sept. 11, 2001 (9-11) in support of the global war on terror.

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I grew up in the military. Mom was an Air Force nurse for a few years, dad was a navigator on B-52s, among other things. One grandfather served in World War II, uncle is retired Navy, other grandfather and great-uncle served in Korea and a cousin is currently serving in the Marine Corps. Currently, I'm the military reporter for the Great Falls Tribune in Montana. Previously, 


As a military kids, we moved all over. As an adult, I've traveled all over and moved for work. But now, I'm putting down roots in Montana with my boyfriend. We just bought a house and are slowly but surely making it our home. We have more land that we know what to do with at the moment. Now we're getting a garden started, tearing down walls and having loads of fun at what we call the Homestead.

In a part life, I did PR for the guy who built the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the National Mall, social media for the National Museum of Health and Medicine, before that, edited two military technology magazines for a publishing group in the DC area and before that, I was the military reporter (among other things) at the Montgomery Advertiser, covering Maxwell Air Force Base, the Alabama National Guard, veterans and anything else military related in the area. And in between all of that, I leave town, preferably the country, whenever possible. It all started when I spent a semester in New Zealand.

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