BOISE -- As we near the 10th anniversary of September 11th, some of our local soldiers who've just this week returned from war in Iraq give their thoughts on a post-9/11 military.
The 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team is right now coming home in groups from a year long mobilization and deployment. Some are longtime military men and women; others joined within the last ten years.
"For all the military families, it's been a tough, tough ten years," 1st Lieutenant Drew Myklegard said. "We've only been deployed once, my wife and I, because you really go as a family through it. Most of the guys I was with have deployed three and four times, year long stints, and I can't imagine how hard it is on them, but they've persevered and carried the weight of this war bravely and courageously. It's amazing to watch a government and a military support, and society, support us for ten long years."
Soldiers from the 116th say they're proud to be a part of a post-9/11 military.
"It's very rewarding, and I couldn't be any more proud to serve. I wouldn't have changed it for the world. It's just really rewarding," Specialist Abbie Maes said.
Looking back, many in the Guard, including Colonel Tim Marsano who welcomed the 116th home, just can't believe it really has been a decade.
"For me personally, and I think I can speak for a lot of my colleagues in uniform, men and women of the Idaho National Guard and all the services, 9/11 might as well have been yesterday. We have not forgotten for even one moment, and we never will," Marsano said. "These homecomings and these sendoffs we've been doing for the last 10 years are part of that. We're going to continue to perform our mission as professionally as we possibly can, and we're going to get it done right."