It’s off to Iraq for more than 100 Iowa national Guardsmen from Davenport, Storm Lake and Waterloo. Nineteen of the soldiers were honored Thursday morning at a ceremony in Davenport. The members of Echo Company 334th will be supporting the first battalion, 133rd infantry. Private Stephen Jaster says they need all the support they can get. He advises families of the soldiers to talk to each other “because they know exactly what you’re going through.” He reminds them to keep writing to their soldiers, too, saying he loves letters. Specialist John Toyne says while the Iowans are gone, it’s up to other folks to hold down the fort in the U.S. He says he’ll be gone and do what he has to do, and says folks back at home have to do the same. While he’s wearing the uniform and serving on active duty, he wants everyone “to be proud over here, and do their job.” The troops will be on active duty for a year and-a-half. Four sendoff ceremonies were held in all, for members of infantry and transportation units in this deployment.
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