|Cuomo travels to Fort Drum to welcom back 10th Mountain Division troops who are last out of Afghanistan. Two soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor for valor.|
|Text of press release.|
For Immediate Release: December 8, 2014
GOVERNOR CUOMO WELCOMES 10TH MOUNTAIN DIVISION HOME AFTER SERVING IN AFGHANISTAN
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today welcomed members of the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) home to New York after their return from service in Afghanistan. At a ceremony at Fort Drum, the Governor thanked the soldiers for their contributions abroad and wished them a happy reunion with their families.
“The men and women of the 10th Mountain Division have provided an incredible service to the American people – and we owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude for all that they have done,” Governor Cuomo said. “These brave soldiers answered the call and put the needs and safety of others before their own. On behalf of all New Yorkers, I thank them for their selflessness, their dedication and their bravery, and I am proud to welcome them home.”
Earlier this year, Governor Cuomo traveled to Afghanistan during a bi-partisan visit sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense. During this visit the Governor met with members of the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), along with other soldiers and military personnel, to thank them for their service and witness some of their responsibilities and accomplishments firsthand.
The 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) was both the first and last to deploy to Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. This was the Division Headquarters’ fifth deployment to Afghanistan. The Division was also deployed to Iraq from 2008 to 2009.
In February 2014, the Division assumed command of Regional Command East in Afghanistan. According to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), RC-East includes the provinces of Bamyan, Ghazni, Kapisa, Khost, Kunar, Laghman, Logar, Nangarhar, Nuristan, Paktika, Paktiya, Panjshayr, Parwan and Wardak. It covers 46,000 square miles, approximately the size of Virginia, and shares a portion of the border with Pakistan.
Two 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) Soldiers received the Medal of Honor for their actions in Afghanistan:
· Sgt. 1st Class Jared Monti – awarded posthumously in 2009 for his actions during combat in 2006 as part of Operation Enduring Freedom
· Capt. William Swenson – awarded in 2013 for his actions in 2009 during the Battle of Ganjgal in Afghanistan