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Resilience, dedication of National Guard unit

November 11, 2005

Re "In Dying, Colonel Broke a Promise to His Troops," Nov. 2

Your article described the California National Guard's 184th Infantry Regiment as being "mired in controversy and misfortune," a characterization that is not only wrong but misses the more compelling story of the resilience and dedication of a group of men.

Our guardsmen operate in an environment in which merely completing a solid day's work is an impressive accomplishment.

Last weekend, the unit engaged in the largest and most successful mission of its tour in Iraq, netting 49 suspected terrorists and a large cache of weapons and ammunition. It accomplished this less than 48 hours after losing two of its most senior leaders.

There is no question these citizen soldiers have overcome their share of adversity. To me this is not surprising, having served alongside many of them at home and overseas.

I am very proud of what they have accomplished. I can say with unquestionable certainty that these citizen soldiers aren't the type to get mired or quit.

As a nation, we've called upon them to go and to sacrifice.

We owe it to them to report on their successes and acknowledge their selflessness, often in spite of the hardships they have faced along the way.

MAJ. JON SIEPMANN

California National Guard

Folsom, Calif.

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