DARIEN, Ill. - The 416th Engineer Command Association commemorated the anniversary of its 10-year union of Iraqi Freedom recently.The dinner began with posting of the colors, a toast, and a solemn dedication to fallen comrades by honoring those who were not here to break bread. An empty chair, a table set, and other symbolic references were set up to honor those military members who have paid the ultimate sacrifice and were not able to join in the anniversary.It was time for dinner and then the guest speakers and tonight held a very special surprise - the keynote speaker was Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Talley, Chief of Army Reserve, commanding general U.S. Army Reserve Command. In 2003, he deployed with the 416th Engineer Command as a lieutenant colonel. His rise to three-star status was fast and furious. The 32-year veteran began his career in 1981 upon receiving his commission from Louisiana State University.He started by thanking Maj. Gen. Robert Heine, retired, for his mentorship."In a war zone there is little time for professional education," said Talley. "General Heine forced me to do my courses and I thank him for that because I probably would have never gotten around to doing them."Talley goes on to talk about other momentous moments and times during the deployment. The construction projects and the enormous pipeline that had to be built was a mountain of a project for the unit. The pipeline was unique being laid in a wartime, tactical environment and used 66,000 pieces of pipe that was laid by hand and required more that 1,000 engineer soldiers to complete.Other members of the 416th Engineer Command Association got up and spoke of their memories of having served and the distinct impacts they have affected their lives. Stories brought mutually shared thoughts of glory days.Then Maj. Gen. David J. Conboy, commander of the 416th Theater Engineer Command, connected the past up to the present with a stunning update of the 416th's Mission today and what its responsibilities are. He mentioned there is currently more than 800 soldiers of the 416th subordinate units that are deployed and there are more mobilizations forthcoming over the next couple of years.Conboy stressed that the majority of the TEC's planning effort is in support to the combatant and service component commands, U.S. Army Corps of Engineer and training support to our units. He adds that exercises will continue to always play a major role in our efforts to support our units, U.S. Army Reserve Command and the warfighter."We place a high priority of effort in ensuring exercises are properly planned and resourced so that our commanders accomplish their training objectives, so when they reach their Ready and Available years, they are trained, sourced and ready," said Conboy.The association's president, Col. John Glessner, retired, ended the remembrance of the Iraqi Freedom anniversary dinner with some association maintenance issues and the election of the next term of officers.A benediction, one last smile, a handshake, a farewell and everyone departed with memories that create bond with each other.