Division Unit was called to Support Operation Enduring Freedom
STAUNTON, Va Ė Solders of the 222nd
Support Detachment, Virginia Army National Guard returned today from Ft.
Bragg, N.C. The 222nd was called to active duty on January 17,
2003 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The unitís mission is
to provide water storage and distribution in hot, arid climates.
|Family members and loved ones
welcome home their soldiers, above, of the 222nd Support Det., while
PFC Schmittimger takes a break with his child.
(Photos by Maj. Ed Larkin)
(Click on images for full size)
While at Ft. Bragg, the soldiers successfully
completed administrative processing and combat skills training in
preparation for deployment. Combat refresher training included weaponís
qualification and chemical, nuclear and biological protection.
"We are proud of these soldiers and we are happy
they are home, safe with their families and loved ones," said Maj. Gen.
Daniel Long, 29th Infantry Division (Light) Commander. 222nd
is one of several 29th Infantry Division units or soldiers on
active duty supporting the War on Terrorism, Peacekeeping and supporting the
defense of the homeland.
The 29th is one of the most decorated divisions
in the Army National Guard; and also is among the most honored in United
States Army history. Many of its units have lineage and honors that
pre-dates the American Revolution.
The division served with distinction in the Meuse-Argonne
offensive of World War I, but is most famous for being one of the five
divisions, and the only National Guard division, which made the initial
assault into Normandy, France to begin the invasion of Adolf Hitlerís
"Fortress Europe" during World War II.
The 29th Infantry Division landed
alongside the 1st Infantry Division on Omaha Beach at 6:30 a.m.
on D-Day, June 6, 1944, and its performance on that fateful day has lifted
its reputation to almost mythic proportions. The divisionís assault elements
suffered more than 660 of the more than 2,500 American casualties (killed,
wounded, missing) on D-Day. By the end of World War II with 242 days in
combat, the 29th Infantry Division had suffered 20,324 killed or
wounded, one of the highest casualty rates of any division in the war.
Thursday June 19, 2003