SKOPJE, Macedonia, Dec. 2, 2010 – Ambassador Reeker joined the Minister of Defense Zoran Konjanovski, the Chief of Defense, Lieutenant General Miroslav Stojanovski and Vermont Adjutant General Representative Lieutenant Colonel David Kaiser yesterday at the Army’s Ilinden Barracks to officially welcome home the 79 soldiers who have successfully completed the first ever 9-month combined deployment in Afghanistan.
These Macedonian troops worked with fellow soldiers from the United States’ Vermont National Guard in support of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). Since March of this year, this group of 79 has served shoulder to shoulder with the soldiers of the Vermont National Guard, engaging in the full spectrum of challenging military undertakings. The returning soldiers were among the overall military contingent of 242 supporting ISAF operations.
The Ambassador and other dignitaries praised the returning soldiers for their professionalism and commitment to creating a safer and more secure environment for the people of Afghanistan. They also applauded the unwavering support of the soldiers’ families, a critical component to this and every successful deployment. Ambassador Reeker, on behalf of President Obama, noted how proud the United States is of our Macedonian allies and expressed our deep appreciation for their sacrifices in establishing broader global security.