FORT DRUM, N.Y. -- Fort Drum says goodbye to a brigade commander many say really set the tone for not only battle, but helping the Afghan people and children.
Colonel Patrick Frank led the 3rd Brigade Combat Team for the past two years, but he handed over command to Col. Sam Whitehurst Friday.
Frank spent a majority of 2011 in Afghanistan with about 4,000 of his soldiers. It was a tough deployment with casualties and deaths, but also a very successful one that saw his team build up Afghan governments, local farmers and school children and also teaming up with the Watertown Community on many fronts.
"You heard about the great amount of fighting that we did, especially up front. What that did was provide time and space to do all the governance pieces that was talked about. Developing 18 schools, 2,400 kids at school, 400 of which are girls,” Frank said.
"That's one thing that we're going to. I may change a few things, I'm not changing that one. We're going to continue the great work Col. Frank did in building upon those relationships with the local community," Whitehurst said.
Frank now heads to the Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.