Afghanistan Veterans Gather, Reflect on 10-year anniversary of deployment

National Guard's 27th Brigade holds reunion, public program at NYS Military Museum

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1st Sgt. David Patterson meets with Afghan children during a unit mission in August 2008.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (10/19/2018) (readMedia)-- Members of the New York Army National Guard's 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team join with veterans of the Syracuse, N.Y. based headquarters on Saturday, October 20 to commemorate the unit's service ten years ago in Afghanistan.

The gathering and program are part of the annual reunion of Soldiers of the 27th Division Association.

What: Reunion and public program commemorating the deployment of 1,700 members of New York's 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team for Operation Enduring Freedom in 2008

Where: NYS Military Museum, 61 Lake Ave, Saratoga Springs, NY

When: Saturday, October 20, 2018, at 1 p.m.

Media opportunity: Interviews with Afghanistan veterans 10 years after their service, reflecting on their deployment and the historic lineage of the 27th Infantry Brigade.


The 27th Division Association

The 27th Association was originally formed by National Guard members of the New York Division following WWI. Today, the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the NY Army National Guard remains a vibrant, effective and essential component of the military forces of the State of NY. This year marks the centennial of the 27th during the Great War and the 10th anniversary of the 27th Infantry Brigade's deployment to Afghanistan in 2008.

The 27th Association is the dedicated veterans' organization affiliated with the serving unit, which numbers almost 3,500 troops across New York.

The 27th Brigade deployment to Afghanistan, 2008-09

In 2007, the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team was selected by the Department of the Army to lead the multi-national task force overseeing the training and mentoring of Afghan forces. Following its mobilization in early 2008, the 27th deployed to command Combined Joint Task Force Phoenix VII.

Upon mission completion, the unit received a Joint Meritorious Unit Award from the Department of Defense for accomplishments in advancing the goals of Operation Enduring Freedom. The service-legacy of the 27th also includes duty along the nation's southwest border and response to natural disasters and other emergencies.

The 27th is a subordinate command of NY's Headquarters 42nd Infantry (Rainbow) Division, based in Troy.

Public Program: From Ground Zero to Kabul, Afghanistan

Expected reunion participants will be veterans who responded to the 2001 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center and were later deployed to Iraq and to Afghanistan. Video and slide presentations will be provided along with a panel of veterans who served as part of Combined Joint Task Force Phoenix.

Veterans of the NY Army National Guard represent a narrow slice of American culture which literally went from Ground Zero to the Sunni Triangle and on to the mountains of Afghanistan. These men and women accomplished every task, completed every assignment and performed every mission given to them – emergency response, homeland defense, mobilization and deployment, combat operations, humanitarian assistance and nation building.

When their deployments ended, they returned to their jobs and families, went back to the classrooms both as students and teachers and re-enlisted in large numbers to carry on their National Guard service.

A reunion dinner of the 27th Division Association will be held that evening at the Desmond Hotel in Colonie.

For more information, contact Lt. Col. (Retired) Paul Fanning at or 518-441-4106.