Some Iowa National Guard soldiers are being mobilized for their first federal active duty — and they’ll be joined by some soldiers who’ve volunteered for another tour. Guard spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Greg Hapgood, says the trucking unit was alerted in April for possible activation and the time has come.He says there are approximately 170 members of the 21-68th transportation company. They’re based in Sheldon with an attachment in Cedar Rapids. Hapgood says they also have some soldiers from other transportation companies in the state that have volunteered to go back. While many guardmembers were called away from their civilian jobs to active duty and couldn’t wait to get back in the U.S. — Hapgood says there’re some who welcome another tour.He says the soldiers that volunteer again are young single people who find it difficult to turn down the opportunity to go again. Hapgood says the volunteers who want to return go against all the negative stories told from Iraq. He says once the soldiers got over there and did what they were trained to do, they “absolutely enjoyed in a lot of ways serving their country and knowing that they were making a difference. And they were happy to go back again.” Hapgood says these soldiers will join over one-thousand other Iowa guardmembers serving on active duty. He says we have approximately 13-hundred soldiers on active duty — including approximately 300 each in Iraq and Kosovo, and 700 in Afghanistan. The 21-68th transportation company will leave sometime in August and will spend at least one year on active duty.
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