You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

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.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

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.

Local Guard unit deploying to Kuwait

200 Springfield-based soldiers won’t return until March, 2014.


About 200 soldiers from a Springfield-based Ohio Army National Guard brigade are deploying to the Middle East.

The soldiers from the 371st Sustainment Brigade will leave Monday for training at Fort Hood in Texas before deploying to Kuwait in June as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, deputy commander Lt. Col. Thom Haidet said Friday.

An additional 76 soldiers will deploy in June, he said.

The soldiers, who hail from cities and towns around the state, are expected to return home next March.

The public is invited to attend the soldiers’ call-to-duty ceremony at 1 p.m. Sunday in the Wittenberg University HPER Center, 250 Bill Edwards Drive.

“Leaving family and loved ones behind is the toughest thing,” Haidet said.

A 48-year-old Westerville resident, Haidet will leave behind three children and his wife of 21 years, Natalie.

“This will be my third deployment,” he said. “It’s not gotten any easier.”

Even still, excitement is high among the soldiers.

“We’ve been training for this for two years,” said Haidet, who arrived Friday morning at Fort Hood as part of an eight-member advance team.

The brigade last deployed in 2008 to Iraq, and has been based in Springfield since 2011, when brigade headquarters relocated from Kettering to a new, $17.3 million facility near the Springfield Air National Guard Base.

In 2003, the brigade also deployed to Kuwait.

The soldiers deploying this time are all from the local headquarters, Haidet said. Those soldiers will manage the supply chain of goods coming in and out of Kuwait, from mail and fuel to ammunition and repair parts.

The brigade has a total strength of about 1,700 soldiers statewide, including a transportation battalion which, in turn, is made up of several transportation companies and detachments.

In March, the brigade lost one of its own in Afghanistan, when Spc. Cody Dalton Suggs, a 22-year-old from West Alexandria assigned to the 1487th Transportation Company in Piqua, was killed in a noncombat incident at Kandahar Airfield.

As Haidet explained, deploying to the Middle East produces more anxiety among family members, who often get unnerved by news reports, than it does among the soldiers themselves.

“It’s easier for us,” Haidet said. “We know what the conditions are, and we’ve accepted the risks.”


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Community News

Missing woman found in well hole in neighbor’s shed; man charged with kidnapping
Missing woman found in well hole in neighbor’s shed; man charged with kidnapping

Police arrested a man Wednesday morning after authorities found a missing woman trapped inside his shed. Jennifer Elliot was reported missing just after midnight Wednesday and was found around 4 a.m. after residents heard her cries coming from a shed on Central Avenue in Blanchester.  Police went to the 100 block of Central Avenue after a neighbor...
Freedom Caucus says it now backs GOP health care plan
Freedom Caucus says it now backs GOP health care plan

Members of the House Freedom Caucus announced Wednesday that It will now back a Republican health care plan since an amendment that allows states to opt out of some Affordable Care Act rules has been included. "While the revised version still does not fully repeal Obamacare, we are prepared to support it to keep our promise to the American people...
Columbus Zoo mourns loss of Nanuq, his polar bear cubs still need names
Columbus Zoo mourns loss of Nanuq, his polar bear cubs still need names

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium announced today the death of Nanuq, a 29-year-old male polar bear who sired four litters at the zoo. Nanuq, who surpassed a typical zoo-kept polar bear’s lifespan by more than eight years, suffered from liver cancer and was euthanized this morning, according to the zoo’s release. Columbus Zoo and Aquarium President...
School district: No shooter at Washington state middle school, despite report
School district: No shooter at Washington state middle school, despite report

School district officials said authorities did not find a shooter at Hawkins Middle School in Mason County, Washington, on Wednesday afternoon, after deputies said they were responding to a report of an active shooter. Mason County sheriff’s deputies told KIRO7.com they received a report a shooter in the school’s cafeteria. Here&rsquo...
Madonna unhappy with biopic in works on life of Material Girl before fame
Madonna unhappy with biopic in works on life of Material Girl before fame

  Madonna has some strong words for the producers of a planned biopic on her younger years, before she hit the big time. “Nobody knows what I know and what I have seen,” she said in an Instagram post.  “Only I can tell my story.” Universal acquired the rights to a script, called “Blond Ambition,” about...
More Stories