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Remarks at Welcome Home Ceremony in Honor of the 30th Heavy Brigade Combat Team of the North Carolina Army National Guard

April 11, 2010
Remarks at Welcome Home Ceremony in Honor of the 30th Heavy Brigade Combat Team of the North Carolina Army National Guard

By Congressman David Price in Raleigh, NC

On April 11, 2010 Congressman David Price joined other officials from across North Carolina in welcoming the 30th Heavy Brigade Combat team home from Iraq at a ceremony in Raleigh's RBC Center. The text of Congressman Price's remarks is below:

It is truly an honor to be standing before the brave men and women of Old Hickory again. It seems like a long time since we were last together in the Crown Center in Fayetteville. But this is a day we have looked forward to, and we are very happy you are home.

We followed your progress while you were away. You certainly lived up to the example set by your predecessors in the long proud legacy of the 30th. You have now taken your place among those brave soldiers of the 30th who helped America win World War I and World War II.

You have given of yourselves to improve the security of Iraq and to provide a brighter future for the people of that country. You built schools and water treatment plants, distributed microgrants, got small businesses off the ground, trained policemen and soldiers. At the same time you conducted offensive operations aimed at crippling the terrorist networks that want to destabilize the country. You captured thousands of pounds of enemy weaponry that would have been used against U.S. forces and civilians. You drove thousands of miles over dusty canal roads and small byways in your Hummvees and MRAPs. You spent countless hours stuck in Baghdad traffic. You probably drank gallons of chai tea with local community leaders. Every time you set foot out the gate you were putting your lives on the line, as today's memorial tributes painfully remind us.

Now, if you guess I might have gotten a few clues in drawing up this account, you would be right. For one of your number, Sgt. Heath Alexander, has been helping in my office since he returned. We appreciate his service, there and here, very much.

The work you did building the Iraqi infrastructure, police force, military, and economy will guarantee far-reaching improvements to that country and by extension to American national security. Your time in Iraq is finished now, but the fruits of your labor will continue on for generations. We owe you an enormous debt of gratitude.

We rejoice at your reunion with the loved ones who have spent so many sleepless nights worrying for you. To family members we also owe our gratitude. You, too, have made great sacrifices for the good of our nation.

You can now return to your home communities all over North Carolina and West Virginia, where you will be the example of bravery and honor. We now owe you our best efforts to keep this economy on the road to recovery and not relent until Americans everywhere are back at work. We must make sure that you as service members and veterans have the benefits a grateful nation has promised. The performance of the 30th Brigade will inspire us as we resolve to do right by you and your families and to hold up your example of service to our country.

Thank you and welcome home.

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