This month, Oklahoma has proudly welcomed home 2,600 members of the Oklahoma National Guard’s 45th Infantry Brigade who had been serving in Iraq. I want to take this opportunity to thank the men and women of the 45th for their courageous and committed service to Oklahoma and our nation.


This month, Oklahoma has proudly welcomed home 2,600 members of the Oklahoma National Guard’s 45th Infantry Brigade who had been serving in Iraq. I want to take this opportunity to thank the men and women of the 45th for their courageous and committed service to Oklahoma and our nation.
The 45th Infantry Brigade has a long and storied history, and today’s soldiers have contributed to that unit’s sterling tradition. This year-long deployment was the largest of its kind for 45th soldiers since the Korean War. In two trips to Iraq and one to Afghanistan, I’ve spoken to many commanding officers who had nothing but the highest praise for the men and women of the Oklahoma National Guard.
Oklahomans have long been called to service. Oklahomans give to charity, volunteer their time, donate blood and enlist in the military at rates above the national average. I know I speak for all Oklahomans when I say we are proud of our troops who have chosen to serve and to defend our freedoms.
Oklahoma’s role in Iraq is not over, however, as 850 soldiers from the 45th FIRES Brigade will soon deploy to the region. Our thoughts and prayers go with them, and we wish them a safe and speedy return.
We cannot honor the commitment and sacrifice of these soldiers enough. Likewise, we cannot forget the family and friends who have also made sacrifices and seen their loved ones deployed for more than a year. I offer our state’s deepest appreciation to each of you.
The freedom, safety and security we all enjoy depend upon the men and women who willingly serve their country in the armed forces, guard and reserves. Whether serving close to home or half a world away, the soldiers of the Oklahoma National Guard are capable and dedicated professionals who represent the finest of the State of Oklahoma.
To the members of the 45th Infantry Brigade, it’s good to have you home. We are proud of your service and accomplishment. On behalf of all Oklahomans, I thank you for your service.
If you have questions or comments, please write me at the Office of the Governor, Room 212, Oklahoma City OK 73105 or visit the “Contact the Governor” section of my Web site, www.governor.ok.gov.