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Pittard Reluctantly Visits Warhorse

By Pfc. Paul J. Harris


Brig. Gen. Dana Pittard, commander, Iraq Assistance Group, runs his fingers over the names of Soldiers who gave their lives in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom at Forward Operating Base Warhorse near Baqubah, Iraq. Pittard was the commander of 3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division during OIF II and this was the first time he has been back to FOB Warhorse since he initially left in 2005.
U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Paul J. Harris, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office, Oct. 11, 2006
BAQUBAH, Iraq (October 12, 2006) - "I really did not want to come to Warhorse," said Brig. Gen. Dana Pittard, commander, Iraq Assistance Group, "because it just meant so much. When you put your heart and soul into something for so long, we felt like there was progress, but then when you lose people that you know (it is tough to return)."

Pittard was the commander of 3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division when the brigade was at Forward Operating Warhorse in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2004 to 2005.

He initially came to the base to attend a briefing by Col. Brian Jones, commander, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Task Force Lightning, about the status of the Military in Transition Teams and how they were going to help the Iraqi Army beef up security around the Iranian border.

Pittard's first stop was to visit the OIF Memorial that was constructed after he left. He ran his hand over the names of the Soldiers from his prior brigade. From the memorial he visited buildings that still bear the names of Soldiers from his brigade that died during OIF II.

"It is a deep humble thanks to the units that came here after us that kept the name of the buildings; you don't have to do that," Pittard said. "Most units change the names of all their bases. I made a commitment to 2nd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division that I would keep all the names the same of the FOBs and of the buildings. I am glad that tradition is kept up. This is sacred ground."


Brig. Gen. Dana Pittard, commander, Iraq Assistance Group, straightens a sign that bears the names of four Soldiers from 3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division who gave their lives in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom at the tactical operations center in Forward Operating Base Warhorse near Baqubah, Iraq.
U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Paul J. Harris, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office, Oct. 11, 2006
As he toured the base, noticing how some things remained the same and some of the little differences like the pavement of roads or some of the new buildings he was reflective on his time spent at FOB Warhorse.

"There is always pride; proud to serve with the Soldiers before us 2nd Brigade, 4th ID, our Soldiers from 3rd Brigade, 1st ID, the Soldiers from 3rd Brigade, 3rd ID and the great Soldiers now from 3rd Brigade, 4th ID," Pittard said. "We all have a common bond we served together here in this province in Diyala which is truly a microcosm of Iraq."

by Pfc. Paul J. Harris
3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office

See also this story: FOB Warhorse Memorial - Special Complete Photos

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