A group of Iowa soldiers will be among those honored this Sunday in Minneapolis during the Minnesota Vikings-Oakland Raiders football game. Iowa National Guard spokesman, Colonel Greg Hapgood, says the Vikings have invited 50 representatives from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team to the game.
The 2nd Brigade Combat Team, which is comprised of about 2,900 soldiers, returned from a year long deployment to Afghanistan in July. The group will be recognized during halftime of the game. “They will bring the soldiers on the field and they’ll be introduced to the crowd,” Colonel Hapgood said.
The 2nd Brigade Combat Team is headquartered in Minneapolis, but includes soldiers from Iowa. Their time in Afghanistan was spent primarily in five eastern provinces near the border with Pakistan.
“The unit was involved in a number of different operations, whether it was significant combat, humanitarian operations or training of Afghan National Security forces,” Hapgood said. “They really had a whole host of jobs there.”
The unit’s recent return from Afghanistan ended the largest single deployment of the Iowa National Guard since World War Two. Four soldiers with the unit were killed in Afghanistan while approximately 175 soldiers were injured. Sunday’s game between the Vikings and Raiders starts at noon.