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Thursday, May 5, 2016

The Guard goes to war: 'We'll miss you!'

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Edie Campe photos

1. Fifty-five service members being deployed to Iraq salute the American flag during a departure ceremony Wednesday.

2. The family of a guardsman wish him well with his tour of duty in Iraq.

3. The American Legion ran a campaign to gather needed supplies for service members while they are in Iraq. Among some of the items collected from donations were Q-tips, baby wipes, clothes freshener, bug spray, toothpaste, sewing kits, sunscreen and hand sanitizer. Tammy Young presents Specialist Croy with his care package before the departure ceremony.

4. Brazil Mayor Tom Arthur was present to praise the service members during their departure ceremony Wednesday. Arthur said the troops are "working toward peace in the Middle East," and deserve a world of gratitude.

5. A bus that will take the soldiers from Indiana waits for boarding inside a gated area at the Brazil Armory. The soldiers will comprise the 3rd Platoon of the 1687th Truck Company going to Iraq to transport heavy equipment.

6. The Brazil Concert Band, directed by Matt Huber, performed for hundreds of family, community and National Guard members during the departure ceremony Wednesday.

7. During Wednesday's departure ceremony, service members of the Bravo Company, 38th Main Support Battalion walk in front of the stage to their seats.

8. Dale, Phoenix and Kristina Parksey wave flags to show support for all soldiers leaving, but mainly for the boys' uncle, Sgt. Skelton.

9. Community members holding an American flag were one of many groups that lined up on S.R. 59 to wave good bye to soldiers headed for Camp Shelby, near Hattiesburg, Miss.

10. During Wednesday's departure ceremony, 55 service members of the Bravo Company, 38th Main Support Battalion listen to various speakers.

11. The American Legion Riders lead the bus carrying soldiers headed for training at Camp Shelby before a yearlong tour of duty in Iraq.

12. Alicia English finally gave in to fatigue as her mother, Tayah, tries to smooth her hair into place after Wednesday's departure ceremony for troops from all over the state.

13. The bus carrying 55 Indiana National Guard members leaves the Brazil Armory for Camp Shelby.

14. Community members Patricia Dulin and Rita Marlow, made a set of signs. Once put together the signs gave the troops a message: "Thank you, may God bless and keep you all safe." Friends and neighbors gathered to hold the signs in place when the bus of service members passed by.

After a dozen "Hooah's," 55 members of the Indiana National Guard left for training in Mississippi Wednesday evening.

Unbearable heat did not stop the hundreds of community members who gathered at a departure ceremony to praise members of the Indiana National Guard going to Iraq.

Over the past few weeks the Wabash Valley has gradually learned about the deployment.

First, the public learned that it was going to happen. Then they learned when and why and finally, a way to support and honor the soldiers.

The American Legion started a campaign to gather supplies needed for the troops.

Committee member Tammy Young said the supplies came up a little short, but the Legion was able to collect enough items to give each soldier. A second collection is planned for Thanksgiving, which will reach the soldiers in time for Christmas.

"People in the community have dropped everything over the past week to make this a smooth transition for the soldiers," Company Commander Capt. Dawn Campbell said.

"I'm glad we could get it organized so the community could participate," Campbell said.

National Guard and area dignitaries each took their turn at the podium during the ceremony.

Representatives from the American Legion Post 2 and VFW both vowed to be available for help if families of active duty soldiers needed it.

During his speech, Brazil Mayor Tom Arthur said, the troops are "working toward peace in the Middle East," and deserve a world of gratitude.

The keynote speaker for the evening was Brig. Gen. Michael Kiefer. After three "Hooah's," he thanked the members for their bravery and willingness to support the United States.

The final speaker of the evening was 2nd Lt. David Yarwood who transferred from the Georgia National Guard to Indiana, just to be deployed.

He said he volunteered to go with a friend leaving Virginia, but wasn't needed and was referred to Indiana. At 23 years old, this is his first deployment.

Yarwood is the platoon leader and will be in charge of the group while in Mississippi and Iraq.

"My primary responsibility is to take care of these soldiers in every way. That is not a responsibility I take lightly," he said at the ceremony.

The Brazil Concert Band played their tunes in support of the service members.

With Clay County Sheriffs and the American Legion Riders escorting them, shortly before 7 p.m. 33 guardsmen from the Wabash Valley and 22 from other parts of the state departed for Camp Shelby, near Hattiesburg, Miss.

Once at Camp Shelby, the soldiers will train for 30-90 days with the 1687th Truck Company before their yearlong duties of transporting heavy equipment in Iraq.

The soldiers will comprise the 3rd Platoon of the 1687th Truck Company.

Among special items to remind them of home, some service members mentioned they were going to take lots of photos with them and keep a daily journal for their family members.

Brazil native Marsha Jackson, Terre Haute, was happy the event received as much community support as it did.

Jackson didn't know anyone being deployed.

"I just came to support our troops," she said.

"I know it's with honor and pride, but with it comes heartache and worry," she said before the ceremony.

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