A homecoming ceremony in Davenport tomorrow for 75 soldiers will close a chapter in the history of the Iowa National Guard. Guard spokesman Colonel Greg Hapgood says the soldiers from the 2-211th General Support Aviation Battalion are returning to the state following a year long tour of duty in Iraq.
“This is the last Iowa National Guard unit in Iraq,” Hapgood said. “At this point, we have no soldiers or airmen operating in Iraq, which is the first time since 2003. So this is a pretty significant event for several different reasons.” The 75 troops are returning home just in time for the holidays.
Hapgood said the soldiers and their families knew they were likely to return sometime in the month of November. “It’s working out at the last minute that they will indeed be home just in time for Thanksgiving,” Hapgood said. The soldiers flew and maintained Chinook helicopters in Iraq.
“They moved a great number of passengers, pieces of equipment and supplies in their year long deployment,” Hapgood said. Many of the soldiers with the unit have been deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan multiple times. The homecoming celebration is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Iowa Army National Guard’s Army Aviation Support Facility Number Three (9650 Harrison St.) in Davenport.