National media attention the last few days has fastened on the return of troops from overseas, with everyone from CNN to the NBC Nightly News doing stories on Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division — the last major combat brigade out of Iraq.
We, too, have written extensively about the 18,000 troops that are coming home to the South Puget Sound this year.
Perhaps lost in all this is the fact that smaller groups of soldiers are still headed into harm’s way.
About 130 soldiers from B Company of the 51st Signal Battalion (Expeditionary), for example, are about to deploy to Afghanistan to provide communication support to United States Central Command forces.
The unit will case its colors in preparation Friday morning at the battalion headquarters at Lewis-McChord.
Base officials say this is B Company’s first deployment to Afghanistan. The unit has completed three tours of Iraq — once under the auspices of the 51st Signal Battalion and twice under the 29th Signal Battalion before it was reconstituted the 51st.