Godspeed to the 928th

The Montrose-based 928th Area Support Medical Company National Guard unit — known as the “Witch Doctors” — is shipping out for a year’s deployment in Afghanistan this week.



For 85 members of a regional National Guard unit and their families, 2011 may be a long and uncertain year.

The Montrose-based 928th Area Support Medical Company National Guard unit is shipping out this week for a year’s deployment in Afghanistan. The medical unit is informally known as the “Witch Doctors.”

We wish them the best and hope they all return safe and sound.

They won’t be the only Western Slope residents serving overseas. Many are deployed in Afghanistan, Iraq and other troubled locations with a variety of military units. But only occasionally does an entire unit made up largely of people from western Colorado get deployed. Members of the 928th include residents of Montrose, Delta, Grand Junction, Hotchkiss, Austin and Rifle.

We have expressed our skepticism with the continuing U.S. military operations in Afghanistan, primarily because there doesn’t appear to be a clear definition for when we may achieve victory in a land where tribal warlords rule much of the country.

Even so, we have nothing but respect for the men and women of our military who are willing to put their lives in danger in the service of this country.

That’s especially true of citizen soldiers such as the members of National Guard units. The men and women of the 928th National Guard unit will put their civilian lives on hold for this year, and will be far from their families and friends, as they provide medical services to others soldiers deployed in Afghanistan.

We join numerous people across the Western Slope in wishing the “Witch Doctors” Godspeed and in hoping they return unscathed from their deployment.


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