Badger Blog Alliance

Sic Semper Tyrannis

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Citizen soldiers to answer the call


Citizen soldiers from Baraboo and surrounding communities are among 3,500 Wisconsin National Guard troops headed for Iraq early next year, the Guard announced Monday.

Reached by phone at the Baraboo armory, Sgt. Brian Franzen said he is ready to go when his country calls.

"I'm just a guy who loves my country, and I'm here to serve," Franzen said. "This is my job, so I have no problem with it."

Members of the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team and six other Wisconsin units received notification Friday, though they had been on alert they might be headed to war since December, according to a statement by Lt. Col. Tim Donovan, spokesman for the Wisconsin National Guard. It will be the largest deployment of Wisconsin Guard troops since World War II, he said.

The local troops will go to Texas for additional training in February and will be on the ground in Iraq two months later, said Major Jackie Guthrie, guard spokeswoman. The mission will keep them overseas for about 10 months.

About 50 soldiers in Baraboo and 80 in Portage are part of the 132nd Brigade Support Battalion, Guthrie said. Another 80 Reedsburg-based soldiers are Troop C, 1st Squadron, 105th Cavalry, a reconnaissance unit.

...Ruth Lohr, of the town of Sumpter, said she has mixed feelings after learning her son, guardsman Lucas Lohr, has been called to service.

Lucas Lohr was with the Baraboo Guard unit when members served two years ago in Kuwait, a neighboring country in Iraq War operations. Now he is attending the University of Wisconsin-Stout and is a member of the Guard unit based in Onalaska, she said.