Lawton, Oklahoma-The citizen soldiers from the Ohio National Guard and National Guard Indiana are preparing for the duty overseas in Iraq. More than 400 of the volunteer Guard members are preparing with enthusiasm for their tour of duty that will depart soon for Fort Sill, to prepare for their trip to Iraq.
The Members of the National Guard in Indiana and Ohio joined with the knowledge that they would likely be going overseas, and in fact many soldiers have joined because of this. The pay and benefits for overseas and combat pay are a definite financial advantage for many people that have been hurt by the economic situation.
420 Soldiers stood at attention while speeches and presentations were made during the Friday departure ceremony held in Lawton prior to their leaving. The two battalions from Indiana and Ohio headed for Fort Sill are both part of the 1-137th Helicopter Assault Battalion.
They are headed to Iraq for the 28th Combat Aviation Brigade support mission, and the Ohio Assistant Adjutant General, Major General Matthew Kambic spoke of his pride in the battalion, giving encouragement and praise for the final part of the pre Iraqi training the battalion is headed for.