Unit send-off set for Friday

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 12, 2005

DEMOPOLIS-Let’s hear it for the soldiers as they prepare to serve the country overseas.

The Demopolis National Guard Armory unit, 167th Engineer Company, will be honored with a send off celebration on July 15 at 2 p.m. before the guardsmen leave later that afternoon.

“It’s to give them a good send-off,” Lieutenant Chris Peterson said. “Our Commander will be there and it’ll give the families a chance to say good-bye.”

Peterson, the administrative officer for the Demopolis Unit, said there are approximately 75 guardsmen being deployed from both Demopolis and Centerville.

To help the guards through their time of need, drop-off locations are at most local armories. Troops will need items such as baby wipes and toiletries.

“The basic items. The little things,” Peterson said. “Food is always welcomed. Some folks in the past have even sent socks.”

Although Peterson is unsure about when the guardsmen will return, he said he wished he could go with them.

“Growing up in this unit, I kind of feel like I should go with them,” he said. “But I can’t because I’ve already been.”

After a brief training period, the entire assembled unit will leave for Iraq, where it will remain for at least a year.

The 167th was previously called into active duty in early 2003 and served for several months at Fort Benning, GA, but was not deployed to Iraq.

For those who would like to help with the July 15 send-off ceremony or would like more information about the ceremony, please contact the local National Guard office at 289-3398.

At present there are 13 Alabama Units serving in Operation Iraq Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

For anyone in the public who desires to send care packages and cards, contact the National Guard Public Affairs Office at (334) 271-7244 to get mailing information.

Alabama Units serving or in training to be sent:

1. 2101st Transportation Co.

approx. 140 personnel

Alabama bases: Camden, Aliceville&Butler

2. 122nd Corps Spt Gp – approx. 120 personnel

Alabama bases: Selma

3. 3/117th FA

FWD 1 – approx. 120 personnel

Alabama bases: Troy

4. 1993rd PSD – approx. 30 personnel

Alabama bases: Montgomery (Hope Hull)

6. CSC Scania – 128th Medical Co (GA) (FWD) – approx. 80 personnel

Alabama bases: Ashland

7. HHD, 200th Engineer Battalion

Linden approx. 40 personnel

8. 1670th Transportation Company

Troy/Brantley approx. 32 personnel

9. Company A, 1/167th Infantry

Valley approx.135 personnel

AFGHANISTAN

10. CCAG-76th SIB- Code G –

approx. 32 personnel (statewide composite unit)

11. 278th Chem. Bn.

approx. 60 personnel

Alabama bases: Oneonta

12. 440th Chem Co.

approx. 140 personnel

Alabama bases: Vincent&Clanton

13. 258 MP CO (Prov) – approx. 120 personnel

Alabama bases: Springville/Gadsden

Before additions and revisions

Let’s hear it for the boys as they prepare to spend time overseas.

The Demopolis National Guard Armory will host a ceremony July 15 at 2 p.m. before the guards leave later that afternoon.

“It’s to give them a good send-off,” Lieutenant Chris Peterson said. “Our Commander will be there and it’ll give the families a chance to say good-bye.”

Peterson, the administrative officer for the Demopolis Unit, said there are approximately 75 guards being deployed from both Demopolis and Centerville.

To help the guards through their time of need, drop-off locations are at most local armories. Troops will need items such as baby wipes and toiletries.

“The basic items. The little things,” Peterson said. “Food is always welcomed. Some folks in the past have even sent socks.”

Although Peterson is unsure about when the guards will return, he said he wished he could go with them.

“Growing up in this unit, I kind of feel like I should go with them,” he said. “But I can’t because I’ve already been.”