While national media attention the last few days has fastened on the return of troops from overseas - including Joint Base Lewis-McChord's 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, the last major combat brigade out of Iraq - there are still smaller groups of soldiers headed into harm’s way.
About 130 soldiers from B Company of the 51st Signal Battalion (Expeditionary), for example, are about to deploy to Afghanistan to provide communication support to United States Central Command forces.
The unit will case its colors this morning at the battalion headquarters at Lewis-McChord.
Base officials say this is B Company’s first deployment to Afghanistan. The unit has completed three tours of Iraq – once under the auspices of the 51st Signal Battalion and twice under the 29th Signal Battalion before it was reconstituted the 51st.