News: Soldiers, families to be formally thanked following Kosovo mission
BISMARCK, N.D. - A ceremony here Sunday will honor about 55 North Dakota Army National Guard soldiers who deployed to Kosovo last year.
At 11 a.m. Jan. 13, soldiers with Headquarters and Headquarters Company of the 1st Battalion, 112th Aviation Regiment (Security and Support), along with their families, will be feted during a Freedom Salute ceremony at the Army Aviation Support Facility, 3410 Airway Ave., in Bismarck, N.D. The soldiers mobilized in September 2011 for a year-long mission in support of Kosovo Forces 15, a NATO peacekeeping operation. They returned to the United States Sept. 7, 2012, and then home to an informal welcome in North Dakota on Sept. 13.
Now, Gov. Jack Dalrymple and Maj. Gen. David Sprynczynatyk, North Dakota adjutant general, along with community members, will have a chance to formally thank the soldiers, their families and their employers for their service.
While deployed, the aviation task force - which included units from North Dakota, Wyoming, Wisconsin and New Jersey - worked together to provide aviation support to advance the mission of preserving a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement throughout Kosovo.
Lt. Col. William Watson, of Bismarck, commanded the unit, and Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Schuchard, of Jamestown, N.D., served as the senior enlisted leader. Many of unit's soldiers call the Bismarck-Mandan area home although the unit is comprised of Guardsmen from 15 North Dakota communities.
In addition to the Freedom Salute ceremony, the weekend brings the third post-deployment Yellow Ribbon Reintegration weekend for the soldiers and their families.
WHO: 55 soldiers with the Headquarters and Headquarters Company of the 1st Battalion, 112th Aviation Regiment (Security and Support)
WHAT: Freedom Salute ceremony
WHEN: 11 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013
WHERE: Army Aviation Support Facility, 3410 Airway Ave., Bismarck, N.D.
MEDIA: No precoordination required. Staff Sgt. Eric Jungels (cell 701-425-4844) will be on site to assist.