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CONTACT:
Sharon Watson
Director, Public Affairs Office
Work: (785) 274-1192
Cell: (785) 806-4063
http://www.Kansas.gov/ksadjutantgeneral

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE      April 23, 2008

No. 08-039

FREEDOM SALUTE/STEAK COOKOUT TO HONOR 731ST SECFOR

Soldiers and families of the Kansas National Guard’s 731st Transportation Company (Security Force) will be honored on Saturday, April 26, at 4:30 p.m. during a Freedom Salute ceremony at Holiday Inn West, 101 W. 151st St., Olathe.

The Freedom Salute honors the Soldiers, their loved ones and those who support them for the contributions they made to the cause of freedom during the unit’s recent deployment for Operation Iraqi Freedom.

In conjunction with the salute, the All American Beef Battalion is providing a "Welcome Home" steak cookout for the Soldiers and their families on Saturday, at 6 p.m. The cookout will be held at the Olathe Armory, 1601 W Hwy 56.

Approximately 180 soldiers of the 731st returned from Iraq in February 2008 after a year-long deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The unit deployed in November 2006. The 731st is headquartered in Larned with detachments in Hays, Liberal, and Wichita. It is part of the Kansas National Guard’s 287th Sustainment Brigade.

In Iraq, the 731st served as a convoy security force – one of the most dangerous missions in theater. As a Company, they completed more than 360 convoy escort missions, safely moving more than 21,000 trucks loaded with food, fuel and supplies. The average soldier in 731st conducted 58 combat missions. The unit put more than one million hard miles on their Convoy Protection Platforms.

The 731st was the most decorated company in the 11th Transportation Battalion and was known throughout the theater as one of the elite Convoy Security Companies, having an improvised explosive devise found and clear rate well above the theater average.

All American Beef Battalion will host its first steak feed for the 731st Transportation Company on April 26 in honor of the returning Guard members and their families.

Creekstone Farms Premium Beef donated 420 pounds of rib eye steaks for the event. The Beef Empire Day PRCA Rodeo Committee will prepare the meal for the Guard members and their families.

Chairman of the All American Beef Battalion, Jim Odle, will speak at the event, as well as Kansas Speaker of the House Melvin Neufeld with other key officials and beef industry professionals making an appearance at the steak feed.

The All American Beef Battalion is a group of individuals within the United States beef cattle industry dedicated to support the troops fighting the Global War on Terror. They work to organize and sponsor steak feeds, entertainment, and programs with service members and their families. 

The All American Beef Battalion began in August 2007. Organized exclusively for charitable, scientific and educational purposes, the All American Beef Battalion strives to serve as a contact group for the United States Beef Industry. They accept donations for their work and plan to host more steak feeds in the future.

Creekstone Farms Premium Beef provides Black Angus beef to retailers through their natural and premium raised beef programs. For over 10 years, they have been supplying restaurateurs and grocers with high quality Black Angus beef.

For more information on the All American Beef Battalion and the Steaks for Troops program, go to their website at www.steaksfortroops.com

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