You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

breaking news

West Liberty-Salem school shooting suspect to appear in court

Local soldiers leaving for Kuwait

The 200 Springfield-based soldiers who said their goodbyes Sunday to family and friends before leaving on a year-long deployment with the Ohio Army National Guard are in good hands, the unit commander said.

“We’ve got experience and maturity,” Col. Gregory W. Robinette, commander of the 371st Sustainment Brigade, said after the brigade’s call-to-duty ceremony at Wittenberg University’s HPER Center. “We’ve got soldiers who know their business and will take care of each other.”

About half of the Kuwait-bound brigade — which relocated from Kettering in 2011 to a new, $17.3 million facility near the Springfield Air National Guard Base — are experiencing deployment for the first time, Robinette said. But, 54 others are deploying for a second time. Another 44 have deployed three or more times, he said.

About 20 of them are veterans of the first Gulf War, Robinette added.

“This is our new generation of warriors. This is our new generation of heroes,” Maj. Gen. Deborah A. Ashenhurst, adjutant general of the Ohio National Guard and a Springfield native, told the soldiers and their loved ones Sunday.

The brigade’s 200 soldiers will first conduct training at Fort Hood in Texas before leaving in June for Kuwait, where they’ll manage the supply chain of goods coming in and out of Operation Enduring Freedom, the nation’s 11-year-old effort to transform Afghanistan.

Rachel Gettys, a resident of Cardington in Morrow County who is also in the Guard, wished Sunday she could be going with her husband, Chief Warrant Officer Kyle Gettys.

In 2004, the Gettys deployed together to Iraq, and the two marked their first wedding anniversary while there.

This time, Rachel Gettys will instead be going back to college to finish her degree.

“I’m going to try to keep my mind off of him leaving,” she said.

Managing the house by herself will be the biggest challenge, she said.

“He’s hired someone to cut the grass already and snow blow,” Rachel Gettys said.

Their 16-year-old daughter, Courtney, at least gets to keep her mother this time. In 2004, at age 7, she had to live with her biological father during the deployment to Iraq.

“I’m older. I can handle it better,” Courtney Gettys said.

She also now understands why her stepfather has to go again.

“He’s serving his country,” she said. “When he became a soldier, he knew he’d have to do this. He’s fulfilling his duty.”

For those being left behind, Blue Star Mothers of Preble County was on hand Sunday to pass out those iconic blue-star window banners that serve notice of a loved one’s service overseas.

“You see a house with a star in the window, you realize what that family is going through. And you thank them,” said Jeff Ott, a resident of New Paris in Preble County.

He and his wife, Patricia, have had a blue-star banner hanging in their window for nine years. Their son, Joshua, is a Marine with service in Iraq.

“To us,” Patricia Ott said, “it means respect and pride as parents.”

Not everyone Sunday, however, was leaving behind a loved one.

Sgt. Daniel Cox, 22, of Hilliard, who repairs weapons, is being deployed for the first time with his girlfriend of two years, Pfc. Victoria Casey, 20, of Hilliard.

Casey will deploy May 1 for training at either Fort Benning in Georgia or Camp Shelby in Mississippi as part of a contingent of 76 additional soldiers from the local brigade.

“We’re meeting in Kuwait the same day,” Cox said.

They’re excited to be together — but they’re also trying to keep the excitement in check.

“When we’re deployed, I’m going to be Sgt. Cox and she’s going to be Pvt. Casey. It’s going to be a professional relationship,” Cox insisted. “I don’t want to lose rank over this.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in News

Cookie dough shop to open in NYC
Cookie dough shop to open in NYC

A new cafe is opening this week in the Big Apple, and it is the stuff that dreams are made of. It's called DO and it's being billed as New York City's first cookie dough scoop shop, Gothamist reported. It is the brainchild of Kristen Tomlan, who is credited for coming up with a way to make cookie dough safe to eat without baking. Two years ago, Tomlan...
Chelsea Clinton defends Barron Trump: He deserves 'to be a kid'
Chelsea Clinton defends Barron Trump: He deserves 'to be a kid'

Their parents may have clashed on the campaign trail, but that didn't stop former first daughter Chelsea Clinton from coming to the defense of Barron Trump.
Custom wraps bring a rainbow of colors to new cars
Custom wraps bring a rainbow of colors to new cars

If the standard paint palette isn't custom enough for your car, a dealership in Houston may have the answer for your custom dreams. Tire and Wheel Master has covered a 2017 Ford Super Duty Pickup in a holographic rainbow wrap, complete with purple rims and 40-inch tires, KTRK reported. It is a one-of-a-kind job by Tire and Wheel Master. The custom...
Gas prices down in the Dayton area
Gas prices down in the Dayton area

Gas prices are down in Southwest Ohio and the Miami Valley region. Average retail gasoline prices in Dayton have fallen 14.6 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.06 per gallon on Sunday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 391 gas outlets in Dayton. This compares with the national average that has fallen 3.2 cents per gallon in...
7 things to know now: 18 killed in storms; Tillerson confirmation; MLB star killed
7 things to know now: 18 killed in storms; Tillerson confirmation; MLB star killed

Here's a roundup of news trending across the nation and world today. 1. Tillerson vote: A vote on the nomination of Rex Tillerson for secretary of state is set for Monday afternoon in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Tillerson picked up endorsements from Sen. John McCain, (R-Ariz.), and Sen. Lindsay Graham, (R-S.C.), over the weekend. Florida...
More Stories