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...a sweatshop of moxie

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Thank You, Wisconsin

The State of Wisconsin's sons and daughters in the National Guards are headed to Iraq, in the largest deployment since World War II. They have been in training for this mission for 14 months.

MADISON, Wisc., , Feb. 20, 2009 – Citizens of Wisconsin gathered this week to send the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team off to Iraq with tears and smiles in the Wisconsin National Guard’s largest operational deployment since World War II.

Thousands of family members and more than a hundred civilian and military officials converged Feb. 17, 2009, at Dane County Veterans Memorial Coliseum to bid farewell to some 3,200 members of the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team on its way to service in Iraq.

“Not since World War II has so much been asked of our Soldiers,” said Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle. “Almost every Wisconsin county can name a student, a mother, father, son or daughter, who is part of the 32nd.”

The brigade is the direct descendant of the 32nd Division, which earned its “Red Arrow” patch by piercing every enemy line it faced in four World War I campaigns.

The division also logged 654 days of continuous combat in World War II, more than any other U.S. Army division in any war, and played a key role in capturing the enemy stronghold at Buna, Papua New Guinea, in early 1943.

After service at Fort Lewis, Wash., during the Berlin Crisis of 1961-62, the 32nd Division was deactivated and reorganized as the 32nd Separate Infantry Brigade.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, many of the brigade’s units and individuals have deployed for duty in Iraq or Afghanistan, to the extent that about half of the Soldiers deploying now are veterans of one or more recent combat deployments.

More than 14,000 members of the National Guard and Reserve have been called to active duty from Wisconsin communities since 9-11.

The brigade has trained intensively for its mission in Operation Iraqi Freedom, since it received the first alert order in late 2007.

“They have been training relentlessly for 14 months now as we mobilize under a new model that forces us to complete many training requirements prior to entering active status,” said Col. [...]

The Adjutant-General of Wisconsin, Brig-General Don Dunbar, spoke about the deployment of the famous 32nd Infantry Brigade, which many might resent.

"Many have said, ‘It’s not fair’ — And you know? It’s not fair. It’s never been fair. That’s what makes these Soldiers special.""

May God keep you in His sights, Wisconsinites.

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  • Here is a curiosity. I used the Appleton's Post-Crescent's photo of the massed troops.

    There has to be a German or German-descended photo editor at the newspaper, since they used the German word "bilde" for pic!

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Sat Feb 21, 01:26:00 am GMT-5  

  • I'm not surprised, Germans are the biggest ethinc group on that side of the state, all the way down to the Illinois line.

    Word verification: trysimp (they're delicious!)

    By Blogger BrotherDarryl, at Sat Feb 21, 02:02:00 am GMT-5  

  • Oh, bless your heart for posting that!
    You made me look into whether my father, who served in Korea, had been part of the 32nd. But it appears not. He was instead drafted out of Wisconsin into the 3rd Armored division, also a storied bunch.

    Wisconsin is filled with krauts, so I'm not surprised at the bilde/pic thing. :)

    By Blogger chickenlittle, at Sat Feb 21, 02:23:00 am GMT-5  

  • P.S.
    I wrote "in Korea" (his vernacular) but I meant "during the Korean conflict". He had an older brother who was actually in Korea, a fact which probably kept my father in Germany-I'm now trying to figure out my uncle's outfit.

    By Blogger chickenlittle, at Sat Feb 21, 02:36:00 am GMT-5  

  • This must be part of a general deployment from the 34th ID, based in Rosemount, MN, of which the 32nd is a unit. Not two weeks ago the MN NG sent over a thousand soldiers to Washington state for pre-deployment training before they go to Iraq.

    Detailia: I think the 34th ID still holds the record for longest deployment in Iraq (a year and a half or something like that). The 34th used to be known as the "Vikings", they are now the "Red Bulls". The name change caused some resentment among the soldiers so they used the name "Dead Bulls" instead.

    @chicken, my uncle also served in Korea (during the war, in country) building orphanages. I never heard him speak of it.

    By Anonymous Starless, at Sat Feb 21, 06:47:00 am GMT-5  

  • May they return safe to their loved ones as soon as possible. My Dad missed my birth because he was serving a second tour in Vietnam...I hate to imagine how many of these folks are doing the same for the births of their children.

    By Blogger ron st.amant, at Sat Feb 21, 09:56:00 am GMT-5  

  • I purposely posted this, since I know so many Sundries commenters have a Wisconsin connexion. In fact, I would say a good 50% do.

    Until I went to Althouse, Wisconsin played very little role in my imagination. It was the cheesehead State and home to a football team from yesteryear that I admired (Vince Lombardi/Bart Starr, especially). It was also the home of Laverne and Shirley and Joe McCarthy. Important cultural signposts for foreigners. ;)

    I have always liked Midwesterners THE BEST of any regional Americans. They represent just about everything I love about this country. I am beginning to think Wisconsin is the most representative of the Midwest, for so many (amazing) reasons not the least of which is being overlooked.


    By Blogger vbspurs, at Sat Feb 21, 01:06:00 pm GMT-5  

  • It still is the cheesehead state...

    Yeah, that's right! I said it! Cross the St. Croix and come and get me!

    By Anonymous Starless, at Sat Feb 21, 01:29:00 pm GMT-5  

  • It still is the cheesehead state...

    @Starless: Perhaps we can unite in a mutual dislike of the Bears.

    And Victoria, I nominate you as an honorary Wisconsinite.

    By Blogger chickenlittle, at Sun Feb 22, 01:27:00 am GMT-5  

  • @Starless: Perhaps we can unite in a mutual dislike of the Bears.

    Hah! The problem is I really don't care about football. How about a mutual dislike of FIBs?

    Victoria, I'm wondering what you're criteria for "most representative" are. I would nominate Missouri. The trouble with Wisconsin (same for MN and MI) is that it's too far north, too liberal, and too wealthy. MO, OTOH, is geographically just about smack dab in the middle, has enough of the Rust Belt in it, and is slightly more conservative.

    By Anonymous Starless, at Sun Feb 22, 08:19:00 am GMT-5  

  • How about a mutual dislike of FIBs?

    That's broadening and inclusive, but I concur. :)

    By Blogger chickenlittle, at Sun Feb 22, 10:57:00 am GMT-5  

  • That's broadening and inclusive, but I concur. :)

    Very good. Then we have detente.

    By Anonymous Starless, at Sun Feb 22, 12:33:00 pm GMT-5  

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