Ascension Parish Residents Fighting the War on Terror

Ascension Parish Residents Fighting the War on Terror (HM25YF)

Location: Gonzales, LA 70737 Ascension Parish
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Country: United States of America
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N 30° 13.691', W 90° 54.785'

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The 769th Engineer Battalion In The Iraq War (2007 - 2008)

Long-time Ascension Parish residents Sergeant Major Chad Lynch, Major Cindy Haygood, Sergeant First Class Bonnie Hymel, and First Sergeant Chad Anderson played vital roles in the Iraq War. They were sent in as part of what became known as the "Iraq Surge" in 2007 to 2008. The surge strategy not only called for extra troops. It also called for the implementation of new counterinsurgency strategies designed to protect Iraqi civilians while continuing to suppress the multisided insurgency that emerged after the fall of Baghdad in May 2003.As members of the Louisiana Army National Guard, Lynch, Haygood, Hymel, and Anderson served in the 769th Engineer Battalion under the 1st Cavalry Division and the 4th Infantry Division. They provided engineer support for infantry brigades all over Baghdad as the infantry attempted to root out insurgents in the capital city and protect Iraqi civilians from insurgent attacks with police-style tactics. In order to implement those tactics, the American military and the Iraqi police and military needed security outposts in each neighborhood in Baghdad, which the 769th painstakingly built. The battalion also constructed security walls around bases and along major supply routes, as well as barracks, mess halls, showers, latrines and anything else that was needed.More than any of its other accomplishments,

the 769th Engineer Battalion was most proud of the crucial role it played in the Battle of Sadr City. Sadr City, one of Baghdad's administrative districts, was the site of major insurgent violence since 2004. General David Petraeus, the leader of U.S. forces in Iraq in 2007 and 2008, devised a plan to surround Sadr City with a concrete wall, one that would restrict the flow of insurgents and bombs in and out of Baghdad through strategically placed checkpoints along the wall. The 769th Battalion helped to construct the wall, but had to do it under heavy enemy fire. Sadly, many soldiers were injured or even killed during the process. The 769th tragically lost one of its own, Sergeant Terrell Gilmore. When the wall was finally complete in the spring of 2008, the Iraqi Army, with minimal help from U.S. forces, led an assault on the insurgency in Sadr City, but found very few insurgents. The Iraqis took back the last bastion of resistance in Baghdad, in large part, because the wall had worked. The checkpoints had captured many insurgents and dissuaded new ones from entering. Violence in Baghdad dropped considerably after the wall's construction. Ascension Parish residents can be proud that four of their own played a major role in building the wall.
HM NumberHM25YF
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, March 12th, 2018 at 4:01pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15R E 700838 N 3345912
Decimal Degrees30.22818333, -90.91308333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 30° 13.691', W 90° 54.785'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds30° 13' 41.46" N, 90° 54' 47.1" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)225, 985
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 566-632 South Irma Boulevard, Gonzales LA 70737, US
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