A spokesman for the Iowa Army National Guard says community homecoming ceremonies for three Guard units mobilized as part of Operation Enduring Freedom will be held on Monday, July 18th and Tuesday, July 19th at Cedar Falls and in Coralville. The Guardsmen are currently undergoing medical clearances, briefings on federal and state benefits to which they are now entitled as combat veterans, equipment turn-in, and the completion of administrative documentation at Ft. McCoy, Wis. and will return home to Iowa as soon as those tasks are completed.
Monday, July 18-Cedar Falls and Coralville
Homecoming ceremonies will be held for Companies B and C, 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division. The ceremony for about 100 soldiers from Company C starts at 11:30 a.m. at the UNI Dome in Cedar Falls. Nearly 110 soldiers from Company B will be welcomed back beginning at Noon, in the Marriott Conference Center in Coralville.
Tuesday, July 19-Cedar Falls
The homecoming ceremony for 95 soldiers from Company E, 334th Brigade Support Battalion and selected Soldiers of H-H-B 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, will be held at 11:30 a.m., at the UNI Dome.
Those units are part of the approximately 2,900 members of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division deployed to Afghanistan. They reported to their mobilization station at Camp Shelby, Miss. in August, 2010m for additional training and preparation before departing for the Afghanistan theater of operations.
The units arrived in Afghanistan in November 2010, where the Soldiers provided full-spectrum operations in a combat theater, including lethal and non-lethal capabilities, support to Afghan National Army and Police units, and assistance to humanitarian relief initiatives.
Local officials and Iowa National Guard leadership will participate in the ceremonies. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend the homecoming events.