A silent rank of the National Guard's 217th Quartermaster unit was honored Saturday by a panel of grateful military personnel. Though the recently-returned veterans of Operation Iraq Freedom went home with neatly folded flags and lauds of heroism, medals and pins of appreciation were given to the unit's family members in recognition of their support on the homefront.
Without their family's care and dedication, the unit would not have had such a successful mission, said Brigadier Gen. Norman Arflack during the ceremony at Danville High School.
"I want to thank you for what you did, what you have done, and what you'll continue to do. And I want to thank their families for allowing soldiers to serve and complete the mission they did in such an admirable fashion ... Without you, we soldiers cannot do what we do, and we owe you a great debt of gratitude," said Arflack.
Family members were reunited in April and May after the Danville unit's two teams returned from purifying an estimated 35 million gallons of water in Iraq.