Central Valley Band Welcomes Soldiers Back from Iraq
Most of the 106 members of the Central Valley High School marching band welcomed U.S. Army Reserve soldiers arriving home from Iraq on September 26. Central Valley High School class of 2004 graduate Cpl. Kelly Grothe was a member of the unit, Company B of the 321st Engineer Battalion. He was killed when his armored vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb in Iraq on May 3.
Led by director Eric Parker, the Central Valley marching band performed portions of their patriotic program, “Gifts of Freedom”, the band’s theme this year. The band played at the request of Grothe’s mother. The Color Guard also marched with the band (Color Guard members shown, left to right, are Amy Walston, Lindsay Gordon, Lizzy Winkler, Laticia Gingras, and Kayla Peterson.)
Grothe was one of two soldiers killed in the May 3 attack in Ramadi. Five other soldiers from Spokane and North Idaho were wounded in the attack. The unit includes 350 soldiers deployed in July 2006 to Iraq for a 1 ½-year mission.