The Price Paid
(May 31, 2010)
Col. Mark Campsey, commander of the 72nd
Infantry Brigade Combat Team, promotes Staff
Sgt. Arredondo, of San Antonio, to Sgt. 1st
Class at a ceremony behind As Salaam on Forward
Operating Base Prosperity in Baghdad.
Photo by Sgt. Melissa Shaw
|BAGHDAD -- Col. Mark N. Campsey, commander of the 72nd
Infantry Brigade Combat Team, based in Houston, Texas,
delivered the following Memorial Day address.
"Today I hope we all take time to remember the human
sacrifice it has taken to establish and maintain the
freedoms that our great Nation enjoys.
Throughout the day, let's recognize those Soldiers who have
died, remembering their sacrifices and those of their
families, loved ones and friends.
If we forget them, then we overlook the costs of war and why
we should prevent it. During our Nation's history, whole
families and towns were impacted by large numbers of men and
women lost during combat.
Since 2003, more than 5000 service members have died in the
Iraq and Afghanistan wars, every one of them an
incomprehensible loss to our nation.
As we are remembering those who paid the way before us, our
Texas Army National Guard soldiers in the 72nd Infantry
Brigade Combat Team remain focused on mission accomplishment
In the International Zone, we are actively involved with
turning over U.S. controlled properties back to the Iraqi
government. By early June, the Iraqi Army will have full
control of the entry control points leading into the IZ, the
heart of Baghdad and of the Iraqi government.
Since we've been on ground, both the Government of Iraq and
Iraqi Security Forces have grown in capacity and capability;
we've seen the Iraqi people reject violence and embrace
representative government in the March 7 elections.
Although high-profile attacks have occurred in Iraq,
important issues are being worked out in the Iraqi
diplomatic processes rather than through violent means. As
seen in the news, the debate over the election law is a
clear example of this maturing, representative government.
In Western Baghdad, Texas soldiers are advising and training
their Iraqi counterparts in preparation for turnover of the
last remaining U.S. internment facility at Camp Cropper.
In July, we will transfer these detainees back to the Iraqi
government according to the security agreement. Be proud
that our Soldiers are doing exactly what has to be done at
this crucial and historical point in the war.
Soldiers are anxious and excited about the thought of
returning home, but there are still remaining threats. We
remain ready and vigilant while executing our mission. "
As Americans, we enjoy many things and take them for
granted. Let's not do that today. Take a moment to remember
those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
We'll see you soon.
Article by Army Col. Mark N. Campsey
72nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (36th Infantry Div)
Comment on this article