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Minnesota National Guard
Soldiers return home from Iraq, Kuwait

Posted: May 01, 2012, 9:05 am
By Edie Grossfield
The Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN

Having arrived in Minnesota after his third deployment to the Middle East in seven years, Cmdr Luke Wright said he was looking forward to seeing family and friends and hanging out with his dog


Grant Brossard, a member of Bravo Company 2-135th Infantry, returned home after a 10 month deployment late Monday night to be greeted by his wife, Kate, and his two sons, Spencer and Braeden It was the first time Brossard saw 2 month old Braeden "This is awesome," said Brossard, "Just fantastic"

He is one of about 500 Minnesota National Guard soldiers who are returning home this week from the guard's largest deployment since World War II In total, about 3,000 members of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division are scheduled to return home this month after serving in Kuwait and Iraq

Before coming back to Minnesota, the soldiers spent a week at a base in Mississippi going through the post-deployment process, including medical exams and learning about benefits related to employment and veterans services

"And then we just waited to come home," said Wright, who lives in Minneapolis and grew up in Faribault

He arrived with his fellow soldiers at the Rochester National Guard Armory at about 11 pm Monday, more than an hour earlier than expected His fiance, Lindsey Aho, was there to greet him She drove down from Minneapolis Wright said the two haven't had much time together, given his deployments

"At one point, we had been together for 60 months; I'd been home for about 16 of those months So, we're finally getting a chance to get married in September, and we're excited to do that," he said

Wright's group was stationed at Camp Buehring in Kuwait for its approximately nine-month deployment They had a few missions, including providing security at Ali Al Salem Air Base and the Kuwaiti Naval Base, he said

"And then we transitioned to do some route security missions into Iraq -- for about a month and a half," Wright said "And after that, we were just part of what they call mobile reaction forces It's like a theater reserve for all of the Middle East ... like if something would have spawned again in Iraq after all the troops pulled out"

Wright said the Middle East is a "powder keg"

"There's a lot of uncertainty, to say the least, so they're definitely going to continue to have forces there for quite some time," he said

Wright also served in the first 22-month Red Bull deployment in 2005, and he later served in Afghanistan

Also among the returning soldiers was Sgt Tim Hollrah, of Rochester He was stationed in Kuwait on his first deployment overseas He was part of the mobile reaction forces

Hollrah's wife, Amanda, their daughter and other relatives welcomed him home

"It feels pretty good to be home, finally It's been a long time," he said, adding that he couldn't wait to take a shower It was 95 degrees in Mississippi when the soldiers left Monday
Article source
http://www.postbulletin.com/news/stories/display.php?id=1495043



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