Walker grad among the last troops to leave Iraq
Dean Sanders '86 MGT is home.The lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserves - and a financial planner as a civilian - was among the last troops to leave Iraq as combat operations there ended late last year. He had two tours. During the first, in 2006, he helped train Iraqi secuirty forces. The second a couple years later was spent working as a civil affairs officer.
Sanders recently spoke to the Sanford Herald about his time serving overseas, and how he said it changed him.
Sanders was stationed in Iraq during "the surge" of 2007, when President George W. Bush deployed 30,000 additional troops. By the end of his first deployment, Sanders received a Bronze Star, and the Military Transition Team members were all awarded Combat Action Badges.
When he returned home for the first time, Sanders said he felt like a different person in many ways than when he left 15 months earlier.
"I recall very distinctly talking to my wife on the phone and telling her, 'This deployment has affected me,'" Sanders said. ...
After dedicating two deployments to the war effort in Iraq, Sanders said he remains invested in the country's future, but he is happy to be home.
"I'm grateful when people see me in uniform, they don't hesitate to say, 'Thank you for your service,'" Sanders said. "My response to that is always that it's an honor and a privilege to serve."
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