21st CSH Cases Colors for Iraq Deployment

By Pvt. Amy M. Lane
Public Affairs Specialist
4th Sustainment Brigade

FORT HOOD, Texas — The 21st Combat Support Hospital held a casing ceremony Jan. 6, signifying their deployment to Iraq, the unit's third deployment since 2003.

"Today we watch with pride as these colors are cased," said Brig. Gen. William Grimsley, III Corps deputy commander. "As these colors deploy, we add another chapter in the great combat history of this great combat support hospital."

About 80 Soldiers attended the casing ceremony along with hundreds of guests to include family members and friends. Nearly 400 1st Medical Brigade Soldiers said goodbye to their loved ones as they began their journey to Iraq.

"The casing of the colors is a huge mark in the move toward deployment," said Grimsley. "It is a huge, tangible symbol for the command, the Soldiers and their families and the community that supports us so well. These colors represent our well trained and dedicated medical professionals."

The casing ceremony is an Army tradition that signifies a unit's deployment. When the 21st CSH (known as the "21st Cash") reaches its destination, the colors will be uncased.

Grimsley went on to tell the crowd that over 90% of casualties wounded in combat survive, because of our well trained medical professionals. "What allows that to happen is the Soldiers in this great combat support hospital," he said. "We have the highest standards of care and treatment."

The 21st CSH consists of physicians, nurses, pharmacists, physical therapists and other medical professionals. Their mission is to provide medical care to Soldiers in Iraq.

Col. Barbara Holcomb spoke of the excellent training that the Soldiers have received, including six months of pre-deployment training.

"The 21st CSH has a long, proud history of serving our nation in times of war, and now we have the opportunity to serve again" she said. "We bring the best medical care to the Soldiers in theater."

Holcomb thanked the families of the Soldiers. "We look forward to seeing you all again in about 12 months, until then fear not," she said.

"We will do our best to bring your Soldiers home safe, she said. "We understand they are precious to you and they are the most precious resource this country has. We will take care of them for you."

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FORT HOOD, Texas — Hundreds of family members came out to show their support for the Soldiers of the as the unit cased its colors in a ceremony Jan. 6 at the 13th Sustainment Command (expeditionary) Flag Field.
(U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Erick Ritterby)

news photo
FORT HOOD, Texas — More than 80 Soldiers represented the 21st Combat Support Hospital, 1st Medical Brigade in a formation as the unit cased its colors in a ceremony Jan. 6 at the 13th Sustainment Command (expeditionary) Flag Field.
(U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Erick Ritterby)

news photo
FORT HOOD, Texas — Brig. Gen. William Grimsley, III Corps deputy commander addressed the Soldiers and families of the 21st Combat Support Hospital, 1st Medical Brigade in a casing ceremony Jan. 6 at the 13th Sustainment Command (expeditionary) Flag Field.
(U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Erick Ritterby)

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FORT HOOD, Texas — Soldiers of the 21st Combat Support Hospital, 1st Medical Brigade dip their unit colors as a sign of respect during the playing of the National Anthem at their casing ceremony Jan. 6 at the 13th Sustainment Command (expeditionary) Flag Field.
(U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Erick Ritterby)

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FORT HOOD, Texas — Both Command Sgt. Maj. Gerald Ecker and Col. Barbara Holcomb, 21st Combat Support Hospital, 1st Medical Brigade, salute their unit's colors as they prepare to case them for safe transport to Iraq in casing ceremony Jan. 6 at the 13th Sustainment Command (expeditionary) Flag Field.
(U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Erick Ritterby)

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FORT HOOD, Texas — An Army Private stands in formation in anticipation of her first deployment with the 21st Combat Support Hospital, 1st Medical Brigade in a ceremony Jan. 6 at the 13th Sustainment Command (expeditionary) Flag Field.
(U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Erick Ritterby)

 

news photo
FORT HOOD, Texas — Command Sgt. Maj. Gerald Ecker and Col. Barbara Holcomb, 21st Combat Support Hospital, 1st Medical Brigade, insert their unit's colors into a case for safe transport for their deployment to Iraq in casing ceremony Jan. 6 at the 13th Sustainment Command (expeditionary) Flag Field.
(U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Erick Ritterby)

news photo
FORT HOOD, Texas — Col. Barbara Holcomb, commander, 21st Combat Support Hospital, 1st Medical Brigade addressed her Soldiers standing in formation and guests, friends, and family members who attended the unit's casing ceremony Jan. 6 at the 13th Sustainment Command (expeditionary) Flag Field.
(U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Erick Ritterby)