Community send-off ceremonies are scheduled today in Muscatine, Centerville and Cedar Rapids as 170 members of the Iowa National Guard’s 21-68th Transportation Company head for duty in Iraq. Lieutenant Colonel Alan Meyer, commander of the 554th Quartermaster Battalion, addressed the citizen-soldiers at a send-off yesterday at the armory in Mason City.The 25 members of the Guard’s 11-33rd Transportation Company in Mason City are being attached to the 21-68th for deployment to Iraq. The 25 soldiers were not deployed when the 11-33rd was called to active duty in January of 2003. Meyer says the troops have been waiting for their chance to serve as their fellow guardsmen have already done. He says he’s had soldiers teary eyed who though they may not get to go with their comrades. He calls them heroes.The 21-68th has been activated for an 18-month tour of duty. A send-off was also held yesterday in Sheldon.
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