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47th Combat Support Hospital cases colors

Unit to head to Iraq for fourth time in eight years

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Soldiers from the 47th Combat Support Hospital (CSH), part of the 62nd Medical Brigade, stood before family and friends on June 30 at Wilson Gym on Joint Base Lewis-McChord to case their unit's colors in preparation for deployment to Iraq. The casing of the colors is an Army tradition representing the transfer of the unit to a new theater of operation.

Approximately 110 Soldiers from the 47th CSH will soon depart for Iraq; an additional 100 will deploy in August. This will be the fourth deployment to Iraq for the unit in eight years. As part of Operation New Dawn, the 47th CSH will have three missions involving medical support and treatment.

"For the last several months, they have trained hard for this mission because they know that their medical skills and their medical care will often mean the difference between life and death," said Maj. Gen. Lloyd Miles, I Corps deputy commanding general, in his address. "Today they stand before you confident."

Miles addressed the broad range of emotions felt during the ceremony and quoted a biblical passage that he is often reminded of on such occasions.

"I know there's a lot of mixed emotions here today," he said. "Some of it is excitement and anticipation of Soldiers who are anxious to begin their mission. (For) others, it's sadness of having to say goodbye to a loved one and fear for their safety. For some, it's a sense of honor of being a part of their own band of brothers. In others, there's a feeling of pride. ‘To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to laugh, a time to cry, a time for holding on, a time for letting go,'" Miles said, citing Ecclesiastes.

"Today it's time to let go and wish a speedy journey and a speedy return."

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