The Wisconsin National Guard’s Red Arrow 32nd Brigade Combat Team is marking Christmas in Iraq. Writing from Iraq, Lieutenant Colonel Tim Donovan, the brigade’s public affairs officer, says the Wisconsin soldiers are upbeat about spending the holidays on deployment in Iraq, in part because everyone knows what the new year will bring – a return home.
Donovan says the 32nd is in the midst of handing of its missions all over Iraq to the 72nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the Texas National Guard. Following a formal transfer of authority ceremony, the Red Arrow Brigade is cleared to go home. The brigade will move south into Kuwait and fly into Wisconsin sometime in January.
Even with that good news just around the corner, commanders are doing the best they can to create some kind of holiday atmosphere. Donovan, who’s in Baghdad, says they’ll have a Christmas party on Christmas with solders from Wisconsin and Texas.
Donovan says that while the brigade is thankful it has not lost any soldiers in Iraq due to hostile action, there was been a cost, in time lost with families, and time missed from civilian employment. But he said the 32nd is going to give the people of Wisconsin their money’s worth from the deployment “by making sure they leave Iraq a better place.