June 2, 2010 - Wisconsin is invited to honor the 3,200 Soldiers and families of the 32nd 'Red Arrow' Infantry Brigade Combat Team and celebrate the completion of their successful tour of duty to Iraq with a parade, live entertainment and family-friendly activities.
The June 19 'Back from the Sand' celebration in Stevens Point is possible due to generous contributions from Sentry Insurance, USO of Illinois/Wisconsin and numerous other contributors.
The parade kicks off at noon, featuring the 28 units that deployed as part of the 32nd Brigade and representatives from their local communities. (The best parade viewing will be along Second Street, from the intersection of Maria Drive and Second Street, to the north and the intersection of Portage Street and Second Street. People are encouraged to bring their own signs and flags to wave.)
Following the parade, Gov. Jim Doyle will join members of Congress, state legislators, mayors and National Guard officials at a recognition ceremony at Pfiffner Pioneer Park. Live music - including The Spirit of the USO - Illinois and country singers Brian Stace and Brittini Black - military displays and family-friendly activities will also be featured. Food will be free for Soldiers and their families, and available for purchase to the public. The event will conclude at 6 p.m.
The 32nd Brigade, augmented by six other Wisconsin Army National Guard units, was ordered to active duty Feb. 1, 2009 and deployed to Iraq in April and May, 2009 following two months of training at Fort Bliss, Texas.
During training and while in Iraq, the brigade was organized into 27 company-sized units. Rather than operating as a brigade, the 32nd was tasked with a variety of missions throughout Iraq. These missions included forward operating base administration, base defense, area security, quick reaction forces, freedom of movement security support, detainee guard force operations at theater internment facilities, closing the largest internment facility in Iraq, transferring detainees, operating an academy to train Iraqi corrections officers, inspecting detention facilities, securing and administering the International Zone in Baghdad, and turning over U.S.-controlled properties back to the government of Iraq. The brigade's Soldiers operated around the clock, most of them working at least 12 hours a day - day after day, week after week, for eight full months in Iraq.
More event information is available at http://www.welcomehomeredarrow.org/