Freedom Salute Ceremony for 444th Chemical Company Print
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Written by Illinois National Guard   
Wednesday, 03 April 2013 10:06

April 7 Ceremony to Recognize Soldiers in Galesburg Army National Guard Unit

GALESBURG, IL (04/03/2013)(readMedia)-- Approximately 115 Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers will be recognized April 7 by the National Guard Bureau Freedom Salute Campaign for their sacrifice and service in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The ceremony for the 444th Chemical Company will be at 10 a.m. at the Galesburg National Guard Armory, 362 N. Linwood Road in Galesburg.

The Soldiers were mobilized in February 2012 and briefly trained at Camp Shelby, Miss., before deploying to Kuwait. They returned home Dec. 22.

Stationed at Camp Virginia, Kuwait, the unit operated as a base command cell supporting units stationed at the base and operations in the region.

The 444th saved more than $500,000 in government contracts and increased the billeting capability of Camp Virginia by more than 4,000 Soldiers. The 444th was instrumental in transitioning Camp Virginia from a short-term stop for Soldiers heading into Kuwait or Afghanistan into a long-term billeting area.

The 444th also conducted more than 3,000 patrols and secured 71 unexploded ordnances without loss of life or equipment.

The Freedom Salute Campaign program is a small way to show these patriotic citizen-Soldiers, their families and employers how much their sacrifice is appreciated. On behalf of the National Guard Bureau, the Illinois Army National Guard will present each eligible Soldier with an encased American flag, as well as a sequentially-numbered commemorative coin, certificate of appreciation and lapel pin. Families will also receive items recognizing their support and sacrifice. The Freedom Salute Campaign is one of the largest Army National Guard recognition endeavors in history. It is designed to publicly acknowledge Army National Guard Soldiers and those who supported them while deployed.