WMU News

WMU welcomes heroes home from Iraq

May 9, 2004

KALAMAZOO--Company A of the 156th Signal Battalion returned to Southwest Michigan from Iraq May 8, bringing home a number of Western Michigan University employees, students and alumni, who have served with their unit in the war zone for the past 11 months.

Returning to Kalamazoo by bus Saturday, the Army National Guard unit was greeted by a large crowd of family, friends and community supporters along the 11th Street parade route, before disembarking at the Armory on Parkview Avenue. Gov. Jennifer Granholm was among those greeting the returning troops.

Company A was called up for active duty in April 2003, reporting to Ft. Riley, Kansas, April 14. The group shipped overseas to Iraq in mid-June and has been there ever since.

WMU students returning with Company A included senior Scott Bogue, junior Kevin Ordway, senior Eric Roll and freshman Taryn Timmerman. Returning alumni included Clifford Ferree, Scott Karaptian and the unit's captain, Dan Smith. WMU staff members returning were William Arnold, University Libraries; Christine Hummel, Evaluation Center; and Paul MacNellis, Physical Plant-Landscape Services.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 269 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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