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Minnesota National Guard
Come home soon, come home safely

No matter who you are, there’s probably someone just like you in the Hastings-based National Guard unit

They’re young and old, men and women, white, black and Hispanic Some have the traditional military-style haircut, some are bald and others have full heads of hair Some wear glasses and a few sport moustaches

Charlie Company of the 834th Aviation Support Battalion gathered at Hastings High School Sunday with members of the public for a farewell ceremony The unit is being deployed to Iraq for tour of duty about one-year long

The unit consists of 43 Soldiers, six of whom are Hastings residents About another six Hastings residents are deploying with other units in the battalion

After the unit filed into the gym and unit members took their seats, it was apparent that Charlie Company isn’t made up of nameless, faceless Soldiers They’re neighbors and friends, brothers and sisters, and moms and dads

Charlie Company’s mission is to provide voice and Internet communications for the 34th Combat Aviation Brigade Captain Kent Kogler closed his speech Sunday by saying, “Charlie Company – the voice of the brigade”

The 834th Aviation Support Battalion’s mission is essentially to keep 140 helicopters in the air, according to Lt. Col.onel Eric Waage

He said the battalion is like an iceberg in that people see the 140 helicopters in the air What people don’t often see, Waage said, are the units like Charlie Company who work in the background, but serve equally, in roles as vital as those who pilot the helicopters

Mayor Paul Hicks spoke of the connection the Hastings community has to the unit, and during his speech referred to it several times as “our unit”

According to a press release from the Minnesota National Guard, the unit will deploy to Ft Sill, Okla for a short training period before being deployed to Iraq later this summer

Chad Richardson The Hastings Star-Gazette
Published Thursday, May 08, 2008

Article source: http://www.hastingsstargazette.com/

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Posted: 2017-12-12  11:29 AM
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