PULLMAN - A troop support rally for soldiers based at the Pullman National Guard Armory who will be deployed to Iraq later this summer is planned from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at Reaney Park here.
The soldiers are part of the 81st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 161st Infantry Battalion. They were notified in March that they will be deployed for a second time, with stateside training starting in August. Some are expected to attend the rally, said Rebecca Schwartz, a coordinator of the event.
The 81st, which is headquartered in Seattle, previously was in Iraq from March 2004 to March 2005. It includes about 2,900 soldiers from around the state, plus about 900 from the California Army National Guard.
The intent of Saturday's gathering is to show the soldiers how much they are appreciated, plus begin the formation of a support group that will keep in touch with them while they are overseas by sending letters and packages, Schwartz said.
Pullman Mayor Glenn Johnson and other civic leaders will speak, and Dissmore IGA is providing cake and other refreshments, she said.
A poster also will be available where people can write messages of support, thanks or appreciation. It will be hung at the Pullman Armory after the rally.
Friday, June 13, 2008
"Rally in Pullman will honor troops preparing to deploy this summer"
From today's Lewiston Tribune (inexplicably the Moscow-Pullman Daily News chose to run stories on the opening of Reaney Pool and a Genesee basketball celebration tomorrow instead):