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Oklahoma's National Guard honored by lawmakers

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Army and Air National Guard members fill the state House gallery as the Oklahoma Legislature honored the 45th Infantry Division.

An oversized image of the mythical Thunderbird stood in the House chamber as Major General Harry -M- Wyatt the Third praised the newest generation of the 45th on active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan Tuesday.

Wyatt -- the state's adjutant general -- says the battles being waged today are far different than those for which the 45th earned fame during World War Two and the Korean War.

He says about 60 percent of the approximately ten-thousand Oklahoma Army and Air National Guard members have become veterans of conflicts overseas since the September 11th, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Wyatt singled out Specialist Kyle -A- Brinlee, the only member of the 45th to die in action in Iraq, as he said the current generation of Oklahoma warriors may someday rival those of the past.

Created in 1923, the 45th Infantry Division remained on active duty for five years during World War Two. The division liberated the Nazi death camp at Dachau.
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