Iowa Republican Party chairman Chuck Larson, Junior — who is also a major in the U.S. Army Reserve –is now on federal active duty with the U.S. Army. He says he reported this morning at nine o’clock and the process has begun. Larson says his final destination is still unknown, although he says they’ve mobilized a number of troops and 600 are on duty now at the Baghdad airport. Larson, is a lawyer and legislator in civilian life, and is part of a reserve unit in Des Moines where he’s the command staff Judge Advocate for the 372nd Engineer Group. He says it’s a combat engineering group and he is a member of the command and control team that’s in charge of a number of engineering battalions. Larson says he knew there was a possibility he’d be activated, and says he had time to plan ahead. He says when you wear the uniform you have to be prepared at all times and he had time to discuss various options. Iowa G-O-P co-chair Leon Mosley of Waterloo, a Black Hawk County Supervisor, will step in and take over as the state party chair, and executive director Gentry Collins has been named deputy chairman and will take over some of Larson’s duties. Larson is also a state Senator. He says he talked with his House and Senate colleagues from Linn County — both Democrat and Republican — have they have promised to aid any of Larson’s constituents during his absence. Larson doesn’t how long he will be on active duty. Larson says he’s proud to serve his country and “is simply joining a long line of Americans” called to duty. Chuck Larson, Senior — who is the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa — is worried about his son’s deployment. An emotional Larson says he and his wife are proud that their son is serving his country and joining in a long line of Iowans dating back to the Civil War who have answered the call. The senior Larson was in the military. Larson says he was fortunate, he was never shot at and in 30 years in the reserves, he was never activated. Larson says his own experience is probably the reason his son enlisted.
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