New Hampshire's elected officials joined the state's military leaders to welcome home a medevac unit that recently returned from Afghanistan. The 169th MEDEVAC unit went to Afghanistan in September 2012. Made up of National Guard units from New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania and Missouri, the group became known as "Jigsaw'' to reflect the merger of different units. The medics performed 471 lifesaving missions and carried 427 patients to higher levels of care. Soldiers in the unit, which returned in August, earned several medals including Bronze Stars. The ceremony was at 11 a.m.
Later this week 110 members of the New Hampshire Army National Guard will mobilize in support of combat operations in Afghanistan. The 237th Military Police Company will train in Texas for several months before departing to Khost Province.
77 of the soldiers are deploying for the first time. But others are on their second and third; one is one his fifth deployment.
It’s those repeated deployments that have been a signature of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq – and a researcher at UNH, they could take a toll on servicemembers’ families.