Day has new meaning for state's newest vets
ELMWOOD--Many of the 3,200 soldiers of the Wisconsin Guard's 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team are the state's newest veterans, while others are on second, third or even fourth combat zone deployments.
Few of these veterans will attend Veterans Day ceremonies in Iraq this Wednesday. Instead, 3,200 soldiers of the Combat Team will serve on active duty in Baghdad, doing the very things that earned them the distinction.
The team of the Wisconsin Army National Guard was mobilized in February and more than 3,200 Red Arrow soldiers deployed to Iraq in May. The brigade is dispersed throughout Iraq, performing a wide range of missions.
The 32nd Brigade includes soldiers from each of the state's 72 counties. Here is what two from this area had to say about Veterans Day and their status as combat veterans of the U.S. armed forces.
What does it mean to you to be a veteran?
Cpl. Justin Hopwood, Elmwood, Company A, 1st Battalion, 128th Infantry, Menomonie, Forward Operating Base Future.
"To me it means that instead of sitting at home watching others help the cause that I did my part to help America. Being deployed has also helped widen my perspective of what it's actually like here, something that can't always be seen by watching the news."