The following editorial appeared in the Bluefield Daily Telegraph, a CNHI newspaper. 

Given all of the chaos the year 2020 has brought us to date, some could be forgiven for overlooking the fact that local soldiers were still stationed overseas in the midst of the pandemic.

During the summer of 2019 — long before the coronavirus pandemic disrupted life as we know it — a number of local troops stationed at the Brushfork Armory as part of the 1st Squadron, 150th Cavalry Regiment (1-150th), were deployed to the Middle East as part of Operation Spartan Shield in Kuwait.

The 1st Squadron, 150th Cavalry Regiment (1-150th), has troops located in Bluefield, Holden, Salem, Red House and Glen Jean. In all, approximately 500 troops from the Mountain State participated in the mission. Their objective was to sustain theater readiness and to conduct unified land operations while supporting partner nations in the region.

That mission has since concluded, and the soldiers are now returning home to the Mountain State, according to U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.

“As former governor of the Mountain State, the greatest honor of my life was serving as Commander in Chief of the best National Guard in the nation,” Manchin said in a video welcoming the soldiers home. “West Virginians have helped keep America safe for generations, and I am so proud to see you all carrying on that legacy. I’m thankful to see you all home safe from your deployment as you sacrifice to keep your fellow West Virginians and Americans safe. Welcome home.”

We join Manchin, and all of our local, state and federal leaders, in welcoming the citizen soldiers of the 1st Squadron, 150th Cavalry Regiment (1-150th) back home.

All of the soldiers are due back in West Virginia by the end of this week, according to Maj. Holli Nelson, state public affairs officer with the West Virginia National Guard.

While a lot has changed in the world since the departure of our local troops last summer, one constant remains. And that is our region’s steadfast support for the brave men and women of the military.

Your service to your country, and community, will not be forgotten.

While all of our local soldiers are now, or will soon be safely back home, it is important to remember that there are still thousands of other brave men and women from across our nation who are still stationed in dangerous locations across the globe.

We pray for their continued safe keeping during these difficult times. 

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