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Derek Hauptli, 22, right, was honored Friday by his co-workers at American Welding in Willmar with a party. Hauptli will be deployed, along with fellow members of the Montevideo National Guard, to Operation Iraqi Freedom. Tribune photo by Ron Adams

Troop send-off events to be held today

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MONTEVIDEO -- Gov. Tim Pawlenty will be joining hundreds of citizens from the area today for send-off events for local troops headed to Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Some 560 soldiers with the Minnesota Army National Guard's 1st Battalion 151st Artillery are being deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom. The soldiers are deploying from units in Montevideo, Olivia, Appleton, Marshall, Madison, Morris and Ortonville.

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