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Veterans Reunite 10 Years Later

The Arkansas National Guard's 39th Infantry Brigade combat team organized a 10 year reunion for veterans deployed in the 2nd tour of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
LITTLE ROCK, AR- In 2004, 4,200 soldiers deployed overseas in support of the second phase of operation Iraqi Freedom. Now 10 years later, veterans across the Natural State are coming together for an emotional 10-year reunion.

"It's a great day to look at and think about the brotherhood we had and the special bond that we have together," says Retired Lieutenant Colonel Mike Ross.

It's a special bond and brotherhood, Retired Lieutenant Colonel Mike Ross, says is unexplainable.

"We really hit some hard times, losing 33 soldiers," says Ross.

The dates still sit fresh in his memory, "April the 7th, April the 9th, April the 24th, April the 25th. I can give you the date and the name to everyone of them. (SHOW PIN)I wear this pin that says never forget," says Ross.

LTC Ross says he and other veterans have made a commitment to never forget. Veterans agree events like this are needed to help with the healing process.

"They need to get together, they need to have places that they can go and share all of the issues that still run around in their heads," says Ross.

That's because no one would understand what they went through.

"It's a continuing healing process and we still have individuals out there still dealing with these issues," says Major Chris Heathscott.

Governor Mike Beebe telling veterans he couldn't imagine and that's why he joined veterans to honor fallen soldiers who paid the ultimate price.

"To see all these guys that you laughed with, you cried with, you fought with and it was, it is just a great time," says Ross.

The Arkansas National Guard's 39th Infantry Brigade combat team organized the 10 year reunion.

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