Celebration Planned for Return of Colo. National Guard Medical Supply Company
by Marta Tarbell
Jan 05, 2012 | 1251 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
<b>OVER THERE</b> – Members of the Colorado National Guard Medical Supply Company left Montrose last January for a one-year tour of duty in Afghanistan. They will be coming home later this month (all 85 of them), and Montrose is planning a day-long delayed-Christmas celebration. (File photo)
OVER THERE – Members of the Colorado National Guard Medical Supply Company left Montrose last January for a one-year tour of duty in Afghanistan. They will be coming home later this month (all 85 of them), and Montrose is planning a day-long delayed-Christmas celebration. (File photo)
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MONTROSE – They didn’t make it home for Christmas, but the 85-member Colorado National Guard Medical Supply Company that left Montrose for Afghanistan with a rousing daylong sendoff more than a year ago returns to a mid-January Christmas celebration in Friendship Hall, complete with a specially donated 14-foot-tall Colorado spruce, presents for them and their families, and daylong festivities.

The best reason to celebrate: Each and every one of the Witch Doctors’ members (the nickname is a reference to their year spent working in urban and field hospitals as well as in Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (M.A.S.H.) units, in Afghanistan) is coming home.

Sgt. Rick Bresett, who organized last year’s sendoff, complete with a parade, an escort by Patriot Guard Riders, flag-waving and a formation flyover, is at it again.

He has issued a call for everyone – “Blue Star Mothers, the Salvation Army, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, 4-H Clubs, the Grand Valley Combined Honor Guard, Patriot Guard Riders, the Montrose Police Department and Sheriff’s Department, Colorado State Patrol, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, Montrose Fire Department, Montrose High School’s Band and ROTC members, Montrose City and many, many more of you” – to participate in the upcoming “Parade of Parades,” complete with “signs, flags, banners, music,” and, if it’s anything like the sendoff parade he organized on Jan. 3, 2011, heartfelt speeches, fireworks and a flyover to boot.

“They’re just now getting their boots on the ground,” Bresett said this week, of the returning Colorado unit.

“When they leave Washington, they’ll come directly here to Montrose,” sometime between Jan. 13-16.

Upon their arrival, the first order of business will be a “a military-type welcome” upon landing, at Montrose Regional Airport; after that, the soldiers will get “directly on a bus to the Armory.”

While the returning soldiers “turn in their sensitive items and gear,” Bresett said, their families – some arriving on charter buses from the Front Range, others coming from closer by (Montrose, Delta, Hotchkiss, Austin, Cedaredge, Delta, Grand Junction) – will be entertained at Friendship Hall.

Once the soldiers are released, they and their families congregate under the 16-foot Colorado spruce for a delayed Christmas celebration.

After that, “We’re going to have an incredible parade,” Bresett promised.

There will be presents for family members. As a special welcome-home present for the returning soldiers, “I came up with a wild idea,” Bresett said, for a “cool way to welcome them home, with the peace that rivers and lakes can give,” in the form of a Ross Reels fly rod for each returning soldier.

To that end, he’s buying each soldier a fly rod (at $112, each, thanks to a substantial discount from Scott Fly Rods), made by locally based, 3M-owned Ross Reels.

“I’ve got two weeks to do it,” Bresett said, of organizing the fly rod presentation, “but I know it’s going to happen.”

When the fanfare dies down, the Christmas tree will be planted in Cerise Park.

To participate, or to contribute to Bresett’s fundraising for fly rods, call him at 970/209-5857.
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