Some Iowa guard and reserve troops on active duty in Operation Enduring Freedom are getting disappointing news — a “clarification” from the military as to just how long they’ll remain on active duty. Called up for one year with the option to have that extended to two years, the soldiers are now being told the year didn’t officially begin with their call to active duty.He says it’s not a change in the orders, just a clarification for the time “in theater” the troops will be deployed. Major Ed Graybill is assistant information officer at Camp Dodge, and explains they’re just going over the notice from the Department of the Army. All units deployed currently in Operation Iraqi Freedom will be deployed for 12 months in their area of operation. Major Graybill says the “clarification” means apparently their 12 months begins when they set foot in Iraq, or Afghanistan…not when they prepare to set out for a U.S. mobilization station like Fort McCoy, Wisconsin. The news will add to the time Iowans spend on active duty before they can come home. Graybill says it depends for different units, on how long they spent at the mobilization station, how long they waited for their equipment to be shipped over there, a month to even three months. Soldiers and base personnel are just getting word of the “clarification” of the active-duty orders today, across the nation. It affects all National Guard and all reserve units including army, navy, air force and marine reserve — and for the Iowa National Guard includes about 12-hundred soldiers, who are serving in operation Iraqi Freedom. The Major says others on rotation in Kosovo and Sinai will have no change in their term of service.
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