Editorial: Best wishes to the 682nd for a safe and great tour
Members of the 682nd Engineering Battalion received a strong send-off Thursday morning with a parade and a deployment ceremony. The U.S. National Guard unit is preparing to leave Willmar Armory with 159 soldiers and head for a training period at ...
Members of the 682nd Engineering Battalion received a strong send-off Thursday morning with a parade and a deployment ceremony.
The U.S. National Guard unit is preparing to leave Willmar Armory with 159 soldiers and head for a training period at Fort Bliss, Texas. The Headquarters Company and the Forward Support Company will complete their Texas training and then follow other units of the battalion to Kuwait.
The Willmar-based units will form up with the other units in Kuwait to form a large engineering battalion, Lt. Col. Keith Ferdon of Motley told the West Central Tribune recently. Ferdon is the battalion commander and is beginning his fourth deployment.
The unit will join Task Force Wild and will be based at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.
The battalion’s job includes companies focused on “horizontal” and “vertical” engineering, so they can build roads and buildings wherever they are needed in the Middle East.
Many of this current group all volunteered for the National Guard after 9/11.
These soldiers represent 99 communities across Minnesota. Their age ranges from 19 to 56.
This current deployment is the first deployment for about two-thirds of the unit, said Ferdon.
While most are not surprised by their deployment, it remains a sacrifice for each and every soldier.
Each soldier has had to leave their job, prepare their family for the absence and then miss future family events for the next nine months.
The sacrifice is also one for families.
The remaining parent will have to figure out how to clear the driveway of snow or how to do the laundry.
Kids miss their soldier parent dearly and vice versa. And the home spouse misses the soldier spouse and vice versa.
Granted, technology makes communication easier for soldiers and their families. However, it is not the same as sitting at that school play or having breakfast with your children.
Kudos to Willmar for turning out Thursday for the 682nd’s parade and deployment ceremony.
Thank you to all the soldiers of the 682nd for their sacrifice, commitment and service on this deployment tour. We wish you a safe journey, a secure tour and a cherished return home.
We also want to thank the families for the 682nd. It is each family’s sacrifice, commitment and support of their soldier that keeps them all strong.
Best wishes 682nd for safe and productive tour.