Emporia's Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 1980 hosted a send-off party for a Kansas National Guard unit based in Emporia on Monday night.
Troops attached to Company A Second Battalion, 137th Combined Arms will be shipping off for the Middle East this summer after pre-mobilization training in Kansas and mobilization activities in Texas. First Sgt. Clayton LaVine talked to KVOE about the mentality of the squadron.
LaVine says the squadron acts like a family and even with many new recruits being warmly welcomed into the family.Several organizations sponsored the event, including the VFW post, Disabled American Veterans Chapter 36, the Fraternal Order of Eagles Auxiliary and Southeast KansasWORKS. Retired sergeant and commander of the VFW Post 1980 Randy Rice says this type of send-off is unique.Frank Lowery with Disabled American Veterans says showing this type of support is important.The unit first goes to Fort Riley this week for pre-mobilization training before going to Fort Bliss, Texas, for actual mobilization and then deployment overseas. The Kansas Adjutant General's Office says the 137th is supporting Operation Spartan Shield, an ongoing military venture serving as a deterrent and reactionary force to threats in the Middle East.The Adjutant General's Office is not confirming an official destination. It's also not saying how many soldiers locally will deploy or specifying the length of this tour of duty.
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