Final Mission For An Army Reserve Unit That Fought In Iraq

Sunday, September 24th 2006, 6:54 am
By: News On 6

The 172nd Core Support Group was deactivated Saturday in Broken Arrow.

News on 6 reporter Joshua Brakhage talked to the soldiers, who were sad to see their unit's flag fly for the last time. Soldiers from throughout the 172nd's nearly 40-year-run met in Broken Arrow Saturday to retire the company's colors.

The 172nd was formed in 1967, and served in Europe, Central America, and the Middle East. But the soldiers say their most significant mission was during Operation Iraqi Freedom. 3,500 soldiers from four states were deployed under the colors of the 172nd to Bilad in northern Iraq. 10 never made it home.

Several soldiers made the trip to Broken Arrow Saturday to see the unit's flag furled and retired, including their former commander - Colonel Gary Bunch - who's up for a promotion to Brigadier General, because of his service in Iraq. "They were just soldiers at heart. You can't buy it. You can't pay 'em enough to do what they do. They do it because of a sense of duty from the heart, and when you have those kind of soldiers, nothing's impossible."

Sgt. Robert Walter: "a lot of us have spent every day for a year with the exact same people, got to be pretty good friends. Now a lot of people are moving on, spreading out to new units."