Madam Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to a U.S. Army brigade from Fort Lewis, Washington, that has served with distinction in Iraq.
On October 11, the last of the roughly 3,800 men and women of the 3rd Brigade-2nd Infantry Division returned home to Fort Lewis after completing their second deployment to Iraq. The Arrowhead Brigade has been a trailblazer for the Army as the first brigade to be outfitted with the Stryker combat vehicles, the first Stryker Brigade to serve in Iraq, and now the first Stryker Brigade to complete two tours in Iraq.
During their recent deployment, the Arrowhead Brigade supported operations in Mosul, Baghdad, Baqubah, and other critical areas. On several occasions they were asked to secure downed U.S. aircraft and the sites of numerous suicide attacks. In addition, the Arrowhead Brigade constantly remained prepared to mobilize and deploy anywhere in Iraq for any number of contingencies within 24 hours.
In tribute to their brave service, seven members of the brigade were awarded the Silver Star, the United States' third highest award for combat valor. In the course of their deployment, the Arrowhead Brigade lost 48 of their comrades, with another 700 wounded.
I want to express my deep condolences to the 3-2 Brigade and the families of those fallen soldiers. Their contribution and sacrifice will not be forgotten. The men and women of the 3-2 Brigade have done everything their country has asked of them and more. We all should have the utmost respect and admiration for their service and sacrifice.