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Category: 81st Brigade Combat Team


Pros, joes, Sea Gals and an Xbox

RENTON – Tech. Sgt. Brian King can’t count the number of times he’s driven past the Seattle Seahawks’ training facility and wondered what it’d be like to hang out with the players.

He calls himself a “huge, gigantic fan” of the team. He once had an opportunity be a part of an honor guard before kickoff at Qwest Field, an experience he calls one of the highlights of his life.

Until he jammed out to some Aerosmith with tight end John Carlson and defensive tackle Craig Terrill.

“It’s like a dream,” the 34-year-old Air National Guardsmen from Puyallup said Tuesday. “It took a while to digest that I was really here. I couldn’t be happier right now.”

He was one of about 25 soldiers and airmen at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center for the Pro vs. GI Joe event, which had players and service members competing in Xbox 360 games against troops deployed to Qatar.

The Hawks and the joes cracked jokes, posed for photos and talked trash over rounds of Guitar Hero, Call of Duty 4 and Halo. Oversized speakers thumped out the sounds of the video games, and plasma TVs displayed the game and a choppy video feed from Qatar, where troops deployed to Iraq go for a short break from the war.
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Local links, Oct. 12

Agence France-Presse has embedded with the cavalry soldiers of 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division. They’re serving in Spin Boldak along the Pakistani border, and the story focuses on the soldiers setting up a meeting for local leaders.

Sounds like things are pretty quiet down there: “I feel like we are social workers with guns because, for the most part, the enemy threat is not very strong here so our main focus is go meet the population and build infrastructure,” Lt. Mike Stahlke told the wire service.

Another dispatch that ran today talks about the rough terrain. Mine Resistant

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81st Brigade holds Freedom Salute ceremonies

The 81st Brigade will hold Freedom Salute ceremonies throughout the state over the next couple of weeks.

The ceremony is part of a nationwide National Guard campaign to publicly acknowledge the service of its soldiers who deployed. It’s often a nice celebration for the families, who get to hear their loved ones’ name called and see them walk across the stage.

Here’s the list of celebrations. All start at 1 p.m. except the event in Pasco.

Oct. 10:
Headquarters, 1st Battalion, 161st Infantry Regiment: Spokane Community Center
Headquarters, 181st Brigade Support Battalion: Tacoma Community Center
Bravo Company, 1st Squadron, 303rd Cavalry Regiment: SeaTac Holiday Inn
Headquarters, 2nd Battalion, 146th Field Artillery Regiment: Red Lion, Olympia

Oct. 11
Alpha Company, 181st Brigade Support Battalion: Tacoma Convention Center
Headquarters, 1st Squadron, 303rd Cavalry Regiment: SeaTac Holiday Inn
Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, 146th Field Artillery Regiment: Red Lion, Olympia

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Local links, Sept. 22

Lots of local stuff today:

5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division
Funeral set for soldier with Carlisle ties killed in Afghanistan [The Patriot-News]
Funeral services set for fallen soldier [The Sentinel]
Fallen Soldier Gets Welcome Homecoming []

81st Brigade Combat Team:
WW native works to protect convoys in Iraq [Walla Walla Union-Bulletin]

17th Fires Brigade:
Riverines stand ready to secure Iraq’s waterways []
Water trucks help fight against cholera in Iraq []
Soldiers Speak to Iraqis About U.S. Presence [DVIDS]

Washington National Guard:
1161st Trans.

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Local links, Sept. 16

Today’s local links kick off with the funeral of a Fort Lewis Stryker soldier killed in Afghanistan:

5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division:
Burnsville soldier remembered as a patriot [St. Paul Pioneer Press]
Soldier’s loved ones mourn Burnsville’s ‘Captain America’ [Star-Tribune]

81st Brigade Combat Team:
Boyfriend Accused Of Accidentally Shooting Girlfriend In Chehalis [KIRO-TV]

I Corps/Multi-National Corps-Iraq:
Army Picks Up Tab for Million Dollar Baby [DVIDS]

446th Airlift Wing:
McChord Reservist performs at Dover with dignity, honor, respect [446th AW]

Naval Base Kitsap:
Mooring Lines [DVIDS]

Washington service members:

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Final homecoming

The final plane of 81st Brigade Combat Team soldiers returning from an 11-month mobilization will return to McChord Air Force Base on Sunday.

About 160 members of the Washington National Guard’s largest unit are expected on the flight. After landing at McChord, they will attend a homecoming ceremony on North Fort Lewis.

The brigade of 3,500 soldiers – about 2,400 of whom are from Washington – began arriving at McChord and Fairchild Air Force Base outside Spokane in late July. The soldiers are returning from Fort McCoy, Wis., where they are attending briefings about pay, benefits and transitioning back into

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More Guardsmen return Friday

Another 60 soldiers from the Washington National Guard’s 81st Brigade Combat Team are returning home tomorrow. The soldiers are expected to arrive at McChord Air Force Base at about 11:20 a.m.

The brigade is in the midst of its slow trickle back home from Fort McCoy, Wis., where they are undergoing a demobilization process that includes briefings on pay and benefits and help transitioning back into civilian life. The entire brigade is expected home by mid-August.