Mr. SMITH of Washington. Madam Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to the 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division from Fort Lewis.
By June 30 of this month, the last of the, roughly, 4,000 men and women of the 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division will have returned home to Fort Lewis after completing a 15-month deployment in Iraq. The Dragoon Raiders, as the Brigade is known, deployed in Iraq in April 2007, a month earlier than expected.
During their deployment, the 4-2 supported operations in Baghdad, Baghdad's Northern Security Belt, and the Diyala Province. The Brigade cleared 2,216 IEDs from more than 87,000 kilometers of routes, ensuring safe travel for civilians and security forces. Soldiers from the 4-2 also captured more than 1,700 detainees and 220 high-value targets during combat operations.
In tribute to their brave service, three members of the Brigade were awarded the Silver Star, the United States' third highest award for combat valor. Their valorous service was not without cost, however. In the course of their deployment, the Dragoon Raiders lost 54 of their comrades, with another 424 wounded.
I want to express my deep condolences to the 4-2 Brigade and to the families of those fallen soldiers. Their contributions and sacrifices will not be forgotten.
The men and women of the 4-2 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.