360 Ohio soldiers called to duty before deployment overseas - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

360 Ohio soldiers called to duty before deployment overseas

(Source: WTOL) (Source: WTOL)
BOWLING GREEN, OH (WTOL) -

More than 360 soldiers from the Ohio National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 148th Infantry Regiment said goodbye to their family and friends Wednesday for deployment.

The men and women will be deployed to Jordan for Operation Inherent Resolve and to the United Arab Emirates for Operation Spartan Shield.

Among the hundreds of soldiers at the call to duty ceremony was the Howard family. They got married just one month ago.

“I’m just so proud of him,” said Anna Howard of her husband. “He is just one amazing guy. He has looked forward to this his whole life. He’s dreamed about it. It’s nonstop what he talks about, and he’s so proud to serve his county.”

Anna and Jack were married on Dec. 9. Jack is excited to use his training during his first deployment to the Middle East to help however he can, but the newlyweds know the next year will be tough.

“I’ll miss her,” said Jack Howard, 11B infantryman in the Ohio National Guard. “I love her, but when we’re out there we’ve got to do what we got to do, so we’ll go do it and we’ll come home.”

The soldiers' primary mission while overseas is training operations alongside the Jordanian Armed Forces. That training will include learning the weapon systems and even simulated missions to practice.

The deployment is expected to last about a year, but before heading overseas soldiers will go to Texas for mobilization training.

“It’s a great opportunity to do something a little different, in a different country so it is going to be really exciting,” said Matthew Viers, Headquarters and Headquarters Company Commander.

During the call to duty service, family and friends stood proudly cheering on their heroes who were marching into the future without fear.

“I couldn’t be prouder to be with all the other parents here,” said Dennis Keller, father of Ohio National Guard member Alex Keller. “It’s a great day to be an American.”

“I’ve been doing this for 22 years, with the military service for 26, these are among the best soldiers I’ve ever worked with,” said Battalion Commander Michael Flaherty. “I couldn’t be happier and more humbled to take these soldiers to do the mission that we’re going to be doing.”

The more than 360 soldiers will head to Fort Bliss, Texas for training on Thursday, but if you want to follow their journey you can follow them on Twitter @148Warrior.

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