1,000 troops return home to Minnesota
According to the Star Tribune, 1,000 Iraq troops were welcomed home on Sunday at Bloomington Sheraton Hotel. The unit was the longest serving unit since the war's start, lasting 16 months. Moments of silence were held during the hour long ceremony for three soldiers who died while on duty. According to the Star tribune, the unit was awarded "one silver star, the Army's third-highest award, along with 220 bronze stars, 32 purple hearts, 771 medals of commendation, 136 combat infantry badges, 302 combat infantry badges and 14 combat medical badges." According to Pioneer Press, this unit, the first of the34th Brigade Troops Battalion, was responsible for "security, military intelligence, communications and other duties in Iraq." Govenor Pawlenty spoke at the event welcoming the troops safely home.