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Linden unit off to war

Christmas will be bittersweet for some members of the Alabama National Guard unit in Linden. While members of the 200th engineering battalion will get to spend Christmas with their friends and families, they will deploy two days later.

“We will have a deployment ceremony Monday, Dec. 27, at 10 a.m. at Linden Baptist Church,” Lt. Chris Peterson said. “We will be leaving that same day.”

He said the unit does not know where they are headed, but said the orders will have them gone for approximately two years.

“It could be more, it could be less,” he said. “That’s not all overseas, though, that includes training, time there, time back and time off.”

The unit invites everyone to see them off Dec. 27 at the deployment ceremony.

According to the Alabama National Guard Web site, the Alabama National Guard is comprised of both Army and Air National Guard components.

“The Constitution of the United States specifically charges the National Guard with dual federal and state missions,” the Web sites states. “In fact, the National Guard is the only United States military force empowered to function in a state status.”

Those functions range from limited actions during non-emergency situations to full-scale law enforcement of Martial Law when local law enforcement officials can no longer maintain civil control.

The National Guard may be called into federal service in response to a call by the President or Congress. When National Guard troops are called to federal service, the President serves as Commander-In-Chief.