Last Charlie Battery soldier to come home

Last Charlie Battery soldier to come home
Sgt. Corey Briest, a member of Battery C, 1st Battalion, 147th Field Artillery, South Dakota Army National Guard, and his family will arrive home between 3 and 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 30, at the Chan Gurney Airport in Yankton.

The public is encouraged to attend a short welcome home ceremony at 5 p.m. at the Summit Activities Center gymnasium as the surrounding communities honor and celebrate the return home of the last soldier from Battery C, 1st Battalion, 147th Field Artillery.

Briest was wounded on Dec. 4, 2005, when a road side bomb exploded next to his vehicle that was part of a convoy he and fellow Charlie Battery soldiers were conducting during the unit's mission to train and evaluate the Iraqi Police in one of many Baghdad districts.

He has spent the last 12 months in physical therapy at a medical facility in Pomona, CA.

"Corey is a true warrior who never quit fighting," said Maj. Gen. Michael Gorman, adjutant general. "We are so happy he and his family will finally be home."

The Briest family will be escorted to the Summit Activities Center by Patriot Guard Riders along a route west from the airport on 31st Street to Douglas Avenue, south on Douglas Avenue to 21st Street, then west on 21st Street to Summit Street and to the activities center.

During the ceremony, Sgt. Briest will receive the Purple Heart Medal, the Bronze Star Medal and other awards.

Battery C, 1st Battalion, 147th Field Artillery, deployed to Iraq in October of 2005 and returned to South Dakota on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2006.

Since the terrorist attacks on America, the South Dakota National Guard has mobilized more than 2,900 soldiers and 700 airmen in support of the global war on terror.

During the peak of deployments, South Dakota had more than 1,500 soldiers in Iraq at one time.

Currently, more than 150 soldiers and airmen from the South Dakota NationalGuard remain on duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. More than 4,000 National Guardsmen are available in South Dakota to provide support for state and

national emergencies and homeland defense.

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