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Behind the Scenes with the Oregon Guard in IraqStory by Tim King Salem-News.com Photos by Cory Grogan in Iraq
A slideshow of recent photos of Oregon Guard soldiers in Iraq.
(BAGHDAD/SALEM) - Oregon has some 3500 National Guard soldiers with the 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team, currently deployed in Iraq. They are under the command of Colonel Dan Hokanson, who was (and still is at heart) a Blackhawk helicopter pilot in his former role with the Oregon Guard, based out of Salem.
The soldiers under his command have performed a wide variety of roles in Iraq and some, like M/Sgt Tom Hovey and Specialist Cory Grogan in this case, have been snapping photos and rolling video tape of the various missions these soldiers have performed.
One photo of a soldier preparing for a night mission is framed by an incredible sunset, another shows the Oregon National Guard cleaning up trash in Iraq at an ancient temple site.
According to a caption accompanying the photo from Grogan, "Members of Headquarters and Headquarters Company pick up trash near the Ziggurat of Ur during a tour of the ancient temple where citizens from the city of Ur worshipped what they believed to be the moon God, Nanna."
I think that is one of the coolest photos I have ever seen from there, and possibly the only one of its nature that I have ever seen from the war in Iraq. What I saw in Iraq, and Kuwait for that matter while covering the war there, was endless garbage. That photo makes me think many good things are possible.
I am not surprised that the Oregon Guard is the first group I have seen doing it, and I should state that they are possibly accompanied by soldiers from other states who signed on as part of the 41st's mission, including the state of Nebraska.
Here are the photos recently sent to our newsroom from the public affairs team with the 41st BCT in Iraq. Special thanks again to Army Specialist Cory Grogan:
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