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Category: 2nd Brigade 2nd Infantry Division


JBLM losing one of its team players as Fires Brigade’s Col. Kamper moves on

Col. Ken Kamper doesn’t miss much at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. He’s there when his artillery troops come home from war. He’s there to pay respects when soldiers fall in combat. And Kamper almost always says yes when South Sound communities come looking for an officer in uniform to represent the Army outside the base.

The two-time Iraq veteran who spent eight of the past 10 years at the base south of Tacoma is moving on after two and a half years leading about 2,500 soldiers in the base’s artillery brigade. His 17th Fires Brigade is one of four large Army

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It’s official: The 7th ID is so entrenched at JBLM that its troops can sing its tune

Last fall, the Army toasted the arrival of a two-star general and a new headquarters for a reactivated division at Joint Base Lewis-McChord with a sunny ceremony on its main parade ground.

The day had all the pomp of a military ceremony – speeches, canons and rows of soldiers standing shoulder to shoulder unwilling to scratch any itch.

It all went well until the base’s brass band broke into the official but forgotten tune for the revived 7th Infantry Division. Soldiers had not sung it in the seven years the 7th ID went dark before the Army brought the headquarters

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“You have indeed returned with honor.” JBLM’s 2nd Stryker Brigade closes the book on nine months in Kandahar

Staff Sgt. Christopher Byers marched on prosthetic legs at Joint Base Lewis-McChord Thursday, rejoining a group of soldiers he left in Afghanistan’s Kandahar province seven months ago.
His limbs chafed at their heavy use, but Byers didn’t complain. He called himself motivated by the chance to march at a ceremony marking the homecoming of his Stryker brigade.
“It’s good to have them home. It really is. I was so worried about them while were gone,” he said.
Byers, 30, served with the 4,000 soldiers in Lewis-McChord’s 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, which recently completed a nine-month assignment

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Army secretary launches resiliency campaign at JBLM, gives an update on PTSD reviews

 Secretary of the Army John McHugh visited Joint Base Lewis-McChord Monday. Photo by Peter Haley/The News Tribune.

Secretary of the Army John McHugh on Monday launched an initiative to promote life skills in military families, seeking to streamline and advertise behavioral health resources so soldiers know where to turn in moments of need.

He signed a memorandum at Joint Base Lewis-McChord Monday steering more resources to so-called “resiliency” programs, which the Army uses to promote overall health among soldiers and their families.

They’re one component of the Army’s push to reverse a disturbing rise in soldier suicides

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Secretary of the Army coming to JBLM to announce results of behavioral health investigation

Secretary of the Army John McHugh plans to visit Joint Base Lewis-McChord Monday to announce the results of a service-wide investigation into behavioral health programs and to meet with Stryker soldiers recently home from Afghanistan.

McHugh last visited Lewis-McChord in April when he announced that the Army would create a new division headquarters at the base to provide better oversight of its main combat brigades.

That headquarters, the 7th Infantry Division, opened in October under Maj. Gen. Stephen Lanza. It  is hosting McHugh’s visit next week and it now supervises more than 17,000 soldiers in five Army brigades.

Patient complaints

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No news is good news for newly home Stryker brigade


Col. Barry Huggins, left, returned from a nine-month deployment leading Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division. Photo by Lt. Rose Neats.

The homecomings from an intense year in Afghanistan are almost compete at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, which this week brought back the command group for its 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division.

Its return is notable in part because of the brigade went about its business for the past nine months at war while rarely making news. It also earned some high praise from one of the war’s top generals as it left

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Wounded JBLM soldier comes home to surprise reunion with troops he last saw in Afghanistan


Spcs. Christopher Anderson and Jasmine Hamer before their deployment to Afghanistan. Photos courtesy Jasmine Hamer.

Spc. Christopher Anderson flew across the country Friday morning thinking he’d surprise the infantrymen he last saw seven months ago in southern Afghanistan when he lost a leg to an enemy mine. He figured he’d sneak up on them at their Joint Base Lewis-McChord headquarters.

Instead, Anderson found more than 40 of his fellow soldiers from the 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division waiting for him at Sea-Tac International Airport.

“It’s been a blessing. I’m glad to see they made it back,”

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Keep wounded JBLM soldiers in your thoughts and follow these stories of recovery


On Sunday we published this feature on 1st Sgt. Mike Leonard’s long road to recovery since he lost a leg an Afghanistan almost three years ago while serving with a Joint Base Lewis-McChord Stryker brigade.

I wanted to talk to him because he’s years into his rehabilitation, and I felt he could teach us about what challenges lay ahead for families of recently wounded Lewis-McChord soldiers coming home from last year’s major deployments. As his wife says, learning to live with prosthetic limbs can feel like “two steps forward, three steps back.”

Several of the younger

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