Soldiers of 7th Engineer Battalion received an official welcome home Friday during an uncasing of the unit colors ceremony on the field across from their battalion headquarters.
“The uncasing ceremony today is a time-honored tradition, rich in symbolism,” said Col. Kurt Ryan, 10th Sustainment Brigade commander.
The battalion colors, cased more than a year ago on May 29, 2009, communicated to Soldiers and Families at home that the 7th Engineers were off to do the nation’s business, Ryan said.
“Today we uncase those colors once again, symbolizing the official return of the formation with the mission accomplished, ready to receive new mission orders and get on with tasks at hand,” he added.
“It was a long year, with the battalion split between Iraq, Afghanistan and Fort Drum,” said Lt. Col. Chris Barron, 7th Engineer Battalion commander. “There were a lot of challenges, a lot of great missions, and unfortunately, some tough times, but through all of it, you – the Soldiers and noncommissioned officers of the 630th, the 642nd, Field Support Company and Headquarters and Headquarters Company – you got the job done.”
The Soldiers could be counted on, no matter what the mission, Barron said. Whether it was building facilities and roads for coalition forces in Iraq, sustaining and supporting the battalion across the four southern provinces, or clearing the world’s most dangerous routes in Kandahar and Helmand, Afghanistan, the Soldiers got the job done, he added.
The battalion returned home to new accommodations, including state-of-the-art barracks facilities, motor pools, dining facilities, and battalion and company buildings.
Ryan added that he was proud of all the battalion, company and platoon leaders for providing leadership to the expert Sappers over the past two years, preparing them for combat, executing the toughest missions and bringing the Soldiers home to their Families.
Barron also reminded everyone attending the ceremony that it was actually incomplete, that there are Sappers and firefighting brothers in arms in the 693rd, 95th and 520th companies still downrange, fighting the good fight.
“You are why we free people can sleep well at night, because we know you will once again be on point for our nation,” Ryan said.