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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Talking with the troops

Friday, April 25, 2003

Spc. E4 Tom Hofmann of Brazil (right) tries to recall the location of another soldier when asked by Major Chris Pfaff (left) at Camp Atterbury April 16.

Part 2 of 2

The Indiana National Guard is playing a major role in the fight against terrorism. Recently nine members of the 38th main support battalion of the Brazil transportation unit were activated and attached to the 113th support battalion from Muncie. They were sent to Camp Atterbury for mobilization.

The Brazil Times was allowed to tour the camp April 16. Public Affairs Officer Major Chris Pfaff, a full time Atterbury staff member from Terre Haute, provided access to the grounds and the troops.

Many members of the 113th, who could possibly be deployed in 20 to 30 days, enthusiastically answered questions about their days at Camp Atterbury and their life in the military.

A very serious and professional Spc. E4 Marion Starr Jr. of Brazil, explained that they left the Brazil National Guard Armory March 30, went to Stout Field for about a week and arrived at Camp Atterbury April 9. Starr has two daughters, Sarah and Anna, who live in the Brazil area.

Pfc. Christopher Haughn, from Terre Haute, maintained the no-nonsense demeanor as he gave out his name and rank before beginning his duties. He's the son of Steve and Tina Haughn.

Spc. Ron Roberson was getting his gear and weapon to start training exercises for the day. The Brazil area resident and his wife Angela, have a son, Ron Junior.

A quick glimpse through the stilted exterior was seen when Roberson said to tell his wife, "I miss her and I'm ready to come back home already."

Spc. E4 Christy Dispennett, from Indianapolis, tried to explain how five members of her company, Company B Det. 1, out of Stout Field, were attached to the Brazil unit which was attached to the 113th. One fellow soldier from Stout Field, Spc. Kirsten Brandt tried to join the conversation but was limited due to a case of laryngitis.

Spc. Dustin Spicer, from the Brazil area, was tending to duties at another part of the camp and was not able to be interviewed at that time. Spicer is a truck driver from the Brazil unit.

Pfc. Susan Ray, the daughter of John and Mary Ray of Brazil, drives a 931 tractor trailer. Ray was very enthusiastic talking about her military experience.

"I'm very proud to be here," she said. "I'm excited to receive my orders and I can't wait to do my job. Tell my parents I love them and, hopefully, I won't be home soon.

"I love my job, it's beautiful weather and I'm having the time of my life."

Spc. Amber Hays, of Indianapolis, was equally excited when speaking of her training.

"I like it," she said. Holding up her rifle she explained her task for the day. "I have to zero my weapon." When asked what that required Spc. Hays said, "I have to shoot six holes in a four inch diameter circle." Zeroing weapons is done from a distance of 25 meters.

Spc. E4 Tom Hofmann said he and his wife Jane, have 15-year-old twin daughters Pam and Daryl. Hofmann was asked if he had any messages for the folks back home in Brazil.

After a moment of thought he said, "Tell my wife and kids I love them. Tell my parents and family and everybody at work that I'm thinking of them. I'll make that road home, however long it takes. Now, I'm here to do my duty."

Public Affairs Officer Major Pfaff talked about the modern military and the Guard being a volunteer army.

"No one wants to go to war," Pfaff said. "But most of the troops are proud of what they do. This is about what they signed up for and they're going to do their job to the best of their ability."

If the enthusiasm and professionalism of the troops at Camp Atterbury are any indication, the security and freedom of America are in good hands.



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