SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Local Soldier Returning Home After Tour of Duty In Iraq


April 30, 2008

jpg SPC Stacy

SPC Christopher R. Stacy

Ketchikan, Alaska - Nearly 180 Soldiers with the Alaska Army National Guard are back in Alaska, after a successful six-month deployment to Iraq. The official ceremony to welcome them home and to honor their service in Iraq is set for Thursday, May 1 at Fort Richardson.

Among those returning with Bravo Company, 297th Support Battalion is SPC Christopher R. Stacy of Ketchikan. Born and raised in Ketchikan, Stacy is the son of John and Julia Guthrie of Ketchikan. SPC Stacy is expected to arrived in Ketchikan on May 2, 2008.

"We are excited to welcome home another successful Alaska Army National Guard unit," said Maj. Gen. Craig E. Campbell, adjutant general of the Alaska National Guard. "These Soldiers had the difficult and dangerous mission of providing convoy and route security, in addition to their other security forces duties; we are proud that they are returning home safe and victorious."

The Soldiers of the 297th Support Battalion were mobilized for active duty at the end of August 2007. They spent two months training at Fort Richardson in preparation for the deployment to Iraq.

"We executed our security mission effectively and efficiently while we were deployed to Iraq despite attempts by the enemy to counter our productiveness," said Capt. Joshua Shrader, commander of Bravo Company, 297th Support Battalion. "We encountered numerous IEDs (improvised explosive devices) and enemy fire while on missions, but our training, skill level and the caliber of our Soldiers were no match for the enemy; we are returning to Alaska with success and the knowledge that we helped keep U.S. and Coalition Forces safe while were there."

The unit was recognized for exceptional service while deployed. So far, unit members have received four Bronze Stars for Valor, 21 Bronze Stars for Service, two Army Commendation Medals for Valor, 62 Army Commendation Medals for Service, six Purple Hearts, 79 Army Achievement Medals for Service, 31 Combat Action Badges and four Combat Infantry Badges.

The Guard members of Bravo Company, 297th Support Battalion all hail primarily from South Central Alaska, although most regions of the state are represented by unit members.

The Soldiers were serving as security forces based out of Camp Anaconda, Iraq, since October 2007.

"We are very excited about his return," said Stacy's mother, Julia Guthrie.


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Ketchikan, Alaska

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