Soldier returns from deployment to Iraq

July 22nd, 2011    Author: Staff Report    Filed Under: News

From lefr are Clermont County Commissioners Archie Wilson and Bob Proud, Sheriff A.J. “Tim” Rodenberg, Lt. Gary Lee, Tracey Braden of the Thank You Foundation, Gertrud Whitaker representing Congresswoman Jean Schmidt, and Commissioner Ed Humphrey.

Lt. Gregory Lee, recently returned from his third deployment to Iraq with the US Army, was recognized by the Clermont County Commissioners Wednesday, July 13.

Lee is a 1993 Glen Este High School graduate. He has been a police officer for the cities of Milford and Madeira, and deployed to Iraq twice with the Army Reserves.

He went to officer training school, and in April of 2010 deployed to Iraq for his third tour, this time as an officer with the 422nd Military Police Company. His unit’s mission in Iraq was to advise, train, and assist the Iraqi police and army.

“The amount of support that Clermont County has given has been unreal,” Lt. Lee said. “Mr. Proud, I just want to say that the amount of support has been really awesome, I really appreciate everything you guys do for the troops.”

Tracy Braden, president of The Thank You Foundation, presented Lt. Braden with a certificate of appreciation.

“The Thank You Foundation has a mission which is pretty simple, to put the words ‘thank you’ into action,” Braden said. “We present certificates of appreciation to the men and women who served our country, and it still surprises me that you volunteer to do what you do. We have some of the best and brightest serving in the military. There are so many other things which you could be doing, yet you choose to give of yourself for our country.”

The county commissioners presented Lt. Lee with a certificate of appreciation, and Sheriff Rodenberg presented Lee with a certificate of appreciation and a challenge coin.

“Welcome home, and we’re glad you made it back safely,” Rodenberg said. “It’s much more gratifying when people are coming home rather than going. Thank you so much for your service.”

Lt. Lee said that among the most difficult things to deal with during his last deployment were the nearly constant sniper and rocket attacks.

He said that the Iraqis the 422nd worked with were very professional and caught on to the training very quickly.

“We stood up the first riot control battalion in Iraq,” Lt. Lee said. “After we finished with the first class, they actually started using what we taught them in actual demonstrations in the province. The captain in charge of the battalion gave us videos showing them in action.”

He said that fulfilling the mission to advise and train the Iraqis was the most rewarding aspect of the deployment.

“That was a good feeling,” Lt. Lee said. “Those guys were awesome to work with, and I think that was the highlight of the deployment.”

Lt. Lee has earned Bronze Star, two Army Commendation Medals, and a Combat Citation Badge, among other citations.

He has five years left to serve with the reserves, and is currently looking for work as a police officer.

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