National Guard members from Hermon, Canton, Ogdensburg to be honored for Iraq service at 'Freedom Salute' April 22
Friday, April 20, 2012 - 5:24 pm

Three National Guard members from St. Lawrence County are among the soldiers and family members of the New York Army National Guard's 105th Military Police Company who will gather for their unit's “Freedom Salute” at the Buffalo National Guard Armory this weekend following their return from Iraq.

Staff Sgt. James Walrath of Hermon will receive the Bronze Star medal for his service in Iraq.

Spc. Jason Briggs of Canton and Spc. Dalton Morehouse of Ogdensburg will receive the Army Commendation Medal for their service in Iraq.

The ceremony on Sunday, April 22 at 11 a.m. is the culmination of the unit's Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program, designed to help soldiers and families deal with returning from overseas deployment.

The unit Freedom Salute ceremony honors the service of the soldiers, the commitment of the families, and the support of the community.

The 105th Military Police Company, based in Buffalo, was one of the first units of the New York National Guard to deploy to Iraq. The soldiers participated in the liberation of Iraq in the spring of 2003. The company spent 12 months in combat before returning home.

Five years later, in late 2009, the company was alerted, trained and mobilized to return to Iraq in order to finish transitioning security operations to Iraqi forces.

Due to the timing of the two combat deployments, the soldiers adopted the unit motto, “First In, Last Out.”